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JOHN LLOYD: It’s time for Wimbledon to cut the 32 seeded players back down to 16

JOHN LLOYD: It’s time for Wimbledon to bring the 32 seeded players back to the old days of having a sweet 16… we protect the elite stars too much and the All England Club spectators are being shortchanged

  • I am more convinced than ever that Wimbledon must reduce the seeds to 16
  • There are very few matches in the first two rounds that make you ‘Wow’
  • Crowds are briefly changed with matches that have no star power
  • For example, I would like to see Brit Dan Evans play against Novak Djokovic in the first round

It’s taking them a long time to change things up here, but looking at the draw for this year’s event, I’m more convinced than ever that Wimbledon needs to chop the 32 seeded players back to the old age of 16.

We protect the big players too much for the second week.

You watch the first two rounds of matches and there aren’t many that let you go, ‘Wow.’ Of course, good tennis is played, but I’m talking about a mouth-watering match that really makes you stand out.

There are few matches in the first two rounds of Wimbledon that make you 'Wow'

There are few matches in the first two rounds of Wimbledon that make you ‘Wow’

The spectators flocking to the All England Club in the first week of the tournament – along with the millions of people watching television around the world – are dwindling.

I just don’t think there are enough good matches in terms of star power.

For example, I’d love to see Brit Dan Evans play six-time Novak Djokovic in the first round – why the hell not?

Dan Evans with number 28 should not be protected from playing someone with a higher rank in the beginning

Dan Evans with number 28 should not be protected from playing someone with a higher rank in the beginning

I don’t think Evans should be protected as the number 28 seed – and the first seed should not be protected from him.

They changed from 16 seeds to 32 in 2001 to give more protection to the top players, and there’s always this view that the players are the number one priority, but I disagree – it’s the fans who pay to watch.

If Wimbledon reversed this change, the other Grand Slams would follow. The players may not like it, but the fans do.

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