DOHA: French Open champion Albert Costa claims Wimbledon is unfair to the Spanish players and reckons it is time the tournament moved into the 21st century.
The 27-year-old is one of several clay surface experts who sometimes give the grass court Grand Slam a miss, and his New Year message to the All-England club is that it is wrong for it to decide the Wimbledon seedings itself.
“Wimbledon should do what the other Grand Slams do and follow the world rankings,” he said.
“Sure grass is different, but so is clay and hard courts.
“I feel very disappointed, because we are playing all year to earn a ranking and when we come to Wimbledon we find that our ranking doesn’t count – why?” Costa asked.
“Sure the surface is different, but it is also different on clay courts, but at the French Open they don’t put Pete Sampras and Tim Henman down in the seedings,” Costa said.
“It’s unfair. If they are ranked one and three in the world rankings I don’t mind if they are seeded one and three in the French Open.”
Wimbledon has sought to avoid a wide boycott by Spanish and Latin American players by reducing the extent to which it adjusts the seeds according to their grass court records, and by getting an agreement to raise the total of seeds in Grand Slam events from 16 to 32.
This means that demoted clay courters like Costa or Alex Corretja are unlikely to appear in the draw as floaters, but Costa still thinks it is unfair not to use the world rankings.
“We should talk,” said Costa.
“They should understand us. I understand them. Their point is controversial because they say grass is different. They should change their view a little every year. They have a very good event but still we have now moved into the 21st century, and they should gradually change their view.
“Sometimes they should treat us (Spanish) a little better. Maybe because we are Spanish they think we are just clay court players but we play very good tennis and people enjoy watching us.
“(David) Nalbandian (raised on clay courts in Argentina) did well at Wimbledon (he reached last year’s final losing to Lleyton Hewitt) and so can we.” – AFP