Chris Evert Lloyd and Martina Navratilova have been made joint No. 1 seeds for next week's All England Tennis Championships, the first time in the 63-year history of seedings at Wimbledon that organizers were unable to name a pretournament favorite. Presumably, they will be bracketed by blind draw.
Officials said they could not separate Navratilova, the defending champion, from Evert, who has just regained the world's No. 1 ranking.
Defending champion John McEnroe is top seeded in the men's singles, followed by Ivan Lendl, 1984 runner-up Jimmy Connors and French Open winner Mats Wilander.
"It is not our policy to give reasons for individual seedings," Chris Gorringe, chief executive of the All England club, said. "But it is not difficult to guess the thoughts of the seeding committee in making Chris and Martina joint top seed. One is defending champion, the other has won the last two Grand Slam tournaments."
At Eastbourne, where she is the top seed for this week's $150,000 grass court tour stop, Navratilova told reporters she is skeptical about the Wimbledon seedings. "You can look at it two ways. Either they are chickening out (of saying who's No. 1) or they are paying us both a tribute," she said.
Qualifier Carina Karlsson beat second-seeded Hana Mandlikova in the first round of the Eastbourne. Although she squandered a 3-1 final-set lead to lose, 7-5, 1-6, 6-4, Mandlikova said she was not upset by her defeat. It was her first match on grass this year, she said, and she was using the competition as preparation for Wimbledon, which will begin Monday.
Karlsson said "I played two games in the qualifying rounds and I guess that helped me. I think Hana had a hard time concentrating."
Gabriela Sabatini, 15, who became the youngest semifinalist at the French Open, struggled for a set against Candy Reynolds but won, 7-6 (8-6), 6-0.