LONDON (AP) _ A new seeding system might not be enough to prevent a boycott of Wimbledon by some of the top clay-court players.
Despite the organizers' compromise by doubling the number of seedings, the clay-court stars contend the grass-court players get a better deal. And even U.S. Open champion Marat Safin, who doesn't stand to gain either way, supports them.
Safin joined French Open runner-up Alex Corretja and Spanish newcomer Juan Carlos Ferrero on Tuesday in declaring that a move to double the seedings to 32 isn't the answer to the Wimbledon dispute.
French Open semifinalist Juan Carlos Ferrero rejected the seeding initiative as a ``step backwards'' and said he favors a boycott. Fellow Spaniard Alex Corretja said he'll wait until next week to decide whether to play.
Safin is not a clay-court specialist and expects a high seeding for Wimbledon's grass courts. He thinks the seedings should strictly follow the rankings.
``If you're not good enough at the time you should be seeded 16 or even not seeded,'' he said Tuesday after winning his opening match at the Queen's Club tournament. ``Come on. Why should I be seeded one if I am 20? Because I won the U.S. Open. But, after that, I couldn't win one match for five months?
``I think it will not work. Players should be seeded the way they are in the ranking. I'm three, and I'm happy with three. It's going to be a headache for everybody. No, it's not going to work.''
The biggest problem is that while the top 32 players in the rankings will be guaranteed a seeding, Wimbledon will determine the exact order of the men's seeds based on players' grass-court records.
This apparently was not enough to satisfy Ferrero and Corretja, who are ranked No. 5 and No. 9, respectively, in the latest ATP list.
``This is a step backwards,'' Ferrero told the Spanish sports newspaper Marca on Tuesday. ``It's a mistake by the ATP. I'm in favor of a boycott if this system is kept.
``If the seedings are decided according to the results of previous years, there are a lot of chances I won't go.''
Ferrero's coach, Antonio Martinez, also indicated the player won't go to Wimbledon, which begins June 25.
``We are afraid that being No. 5 in the world could still mean that Juan Carlos is 32nd seed,'' he told the Daily Mail. ``What Wimbledon have done is a little step but not enough. It doesn't improve anything.''
Gustavo Kuerten, who won his third French Open title Sunday, already has announced he'll skip Wimbledon. He cited a sore groin but has complained about the seeding system in the past.
Corretja pulled out of Wimbledon last year after not being seeded. He said he will wait until the seedings are announced next Monday before deciding whether to play.
``I'd like to play Wimbledon but I first want to see where I'm going to be seeded,'' Corretja told the Daily Telegraph.
``We'll wait until the last moment,'' his brother and agent, Ivan Corretja, told the Daily Mail. ``We asked for the ATP Tour to respect and help us and Wimbledon is the tournament where they must do it.''