Those dismissing his grasscourt prowess were forced to eat humble pie a year ago when Nadal roared through to the semi-finals when he lost 8-6 in the fifth set to Novak Djokovic in one of the highest-quality matches ever seen on Centre Court.
As Federer won the Halle Open earlier this month, his 10th title in the German competition, it bolstered his position in Wimbledon's grass-only algorithm. Winning Halle last week essentially confirmed his spot as the second seed.
Twenty years after his debut, Roger Federer will take aim at a ninth Wimbledon title and a place in history as the oldest man to capture a Grand Slam singles crown.
There were other examples of shifts from rankings to seedings.
"I don't think it's a good thing that Wimbledon is the only one with its own seeding formula", Nadal added.
South Africa's Kevin Anderson is seeded fourth, well ahead of his ranking of eight, after reaching the final for the first time past year, with Dominic Thiem, Alexander Zverev and Stefanos Tsitsipas all bumped down one spot.
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" It's their choice - either way, being second or third seed, I have to play at the best level to aspire to the things I aspire to".
In the second group (they can't meet the players from the top before the fourth round), John Isner, Karen Khachanov, Daniil Medvedev, Fabio Fognini, Marin Cilic, Borna Coric, Milos Raonic and Gael Monfils are among the dark horses ready to take advantage of possible upsets of the main favorites. "For that reason, it is surprising a little bit, but it is what it is", Novak Djokovic added.
"But at the same time it's Nadal that he is taking over [replacing] the second seed so it's surprising, to be honest". But it could - it makes it where potentially he'd have to - he'd still potentially have to play two of them. 2 and 3, respectively, to being seeded Nos. "So I get it, from both sides".
With Nadal being slotted at No. 3, he has an increased chance of facing No. 1 seed Novak Djokovic in a semifinal matchup.
Rafa Nadal has spoken out about his disagreement with the way that Wimbledon calculates their seedings for the men's singles, which is different to way they do it for the Ladies singles and the way that Nadal would like to see employed.
After backing up his 2008 triumph by beating Tomas Berdych in the 2010 final and reaching the final again in 2011 - Nadal then went five visits without going past the fourth round.
Rafael Nadal has called out the Wimbledon Championships for not respecting ATP rankings after the grass major seeded Roger Federer above him.
The South African is now ranked eighth in the world, but his performances on grass have seen him bumped up to fourth seed.