Tennis-Murray seeded third for Wimbledon defence

LONDON, June 18 Wed Jun 18, 2014 12:29pm BST

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LONDON, June 18 (Reuters) - Briton Andy Murray will be seeded third when he attempts to defend his Wimbledon title, while Novak Djokovic has been installed ahead of world number one Rafael Nadal as top seed for the grass-court major.

Murray became the first Briton to win the men's singles title since 1936 when he beat Serbian Djokovic in straight sets last July, and has been seeded two spots above his world ranking for the tournament starting on Monday.

Seven-times champion Roger Federer of Switzerland was named as the fourth seed, meaning neither he nor Djokovic, Nadal or Murray can face each other before the semi-finals.

Spaniard Nadal, winner in 2008 and 2010, claimed a record ninth French Open crown earlier this month but dropped to second seed after failing to make it past the second round at Wimbledon for the past two tournaments.

Wimbledon is the only grand slam that does not automatically follow the men's rankings when seedings are decided. Instead, officials rely on a three-stage formula which, also takes into account grass-court performances of the past two seasons.

Australian Open winner Stan Wawrinka will be seeded fifth despite his world ranking of three, having lost in the first round in 2012 and last year.

Serena Williams is top seed in the women's draw, followed by Li Na and French Open runner-up Simona Halep.

The draw takes place on Friday, with the first round starting on June 23. (Reporting by Josh Reich; Editing by John O'Brien)

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