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Venus and Kim set to be dangerous floaters

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Originally published on: 21/06/12 00:00

Venus Williams, a five-time champion at the All England Club, is unseeded at Wimbledon for the first time since her debut in 1997, while two-time semi-finalist Clijsters has not been seeded for the first time since 2000. The news has put some, including 2007 finalist Marion Bartoli, on high alert.

“Kim is different on grass because she [hasn’t had] the same results, but for Venus [being] unseeded is a bit hard,” said the Frenchwoman. “I hope she’s not going to draw Serena first round, because I’m sure she’s going to come out to the chairman and say ‘maybe you should have put me as a seeded player’.

“For sure, if Venus is unseeded, the draw is going to be hard for someone who draws her first round, second round.”

Williams has not played since her second round defeat to Agnieszka Radwanska at the French Open, but despite her ongoing battle with Sjogren’s Syndrome, she remains dangerous on grass. The 31-year-old has reached at least the fourth round on 12 of her 15 visits to the All England Club, winning the title in 2000, 2001, 2005, 2007 and 2008.

Clijsters, meanwhile, has looked in good form at the Unicef Open in ‘s-Hertogenbosch this week ahead of her final bid to win at Wimbledon, having fallen in the final four in 2003 and 2006, before she hangs up her rackets for good after the US Open.

In the men’s draw, however, three-time Wimbledon finalist Andy Roddick admits that the fact that he was given a seeding (No.30) has come as a surprise.

“I don't think I deserve what I got, frankly. I'd resigned myself to the fact I wasn't going to be seeded,” said Roddick, who has struggled with ankle and hamstring injuries this year. Before this week in Eastbourne, the Texan hadn’t won a match since beating Roger Federer – for just the third time in their 24 meetings – in Miami. 

“With my form this year… I mean, they can't give me credit for three years ago, you know,” added the American. “I certainly was surprised that I was even in the conversation. I was looking forward to trying to be a spoiler. That was a new position for me.”

Given his recent form, Bernard Tomic, was given a surprisingly high seeding of No.20 following his career-best quarter-final effort last year.

The Australian hasn’t won a match on grass in 2012 after retiring from his first round bout with Tommy Haas in Halle and falling to Fabio Fognini in three sets in Eastbourne.

Defending champion Novak Djokovic tops the bill for the men, while 2004 Wimbledon champion and new world No.1 Maria Sharapova has been handed the No.1 seeding in the women’s draw.

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