- French Open
Nadal won't receive preferential Roland Garros seeding
Rafael Nadal will not be seeded higher than fourth at this year's French Open despite his stellar record in the event, organisers have confirmed.
Nadal, the current world No. 5, has won seven times at Roland Garros - only losing one match in his entire career at the Paris event.
However, the Spaniard is now likely to become an unwanted quarter-final opponent for one of the top seeds - Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer and Andy Murray - after Gilbert Ysern, the tournament's director, confirmed that he will not bolster Nadal's seeding above his current world ranking as a tribute his track record.
Nadal's ranking has been hurt by a recent seven-month injury lay-off, one he has only recently returned from. David Ferrer, the current world No. 4, has reached the later stages of the current Portugal Open in a bid to ensure he has accrued enough points to remain above Nadal in the world rankings by the French Open, meaning Nadal is likely to be seeded fifth.
Ysern admitted that organisers had discussed giving Nadal a higher seeding, but it was ultimately decided that it would look like showing favouritism to the player.
"In view of what Nadal is in Paris, the best player in the history of the tournament, it seemed incongruous that he would come here with the fourth or fifth seed," Ysern told L'Equipe. "But it was said to be fiddling.
"What was supposed to be a strong symbol, a tribute, was seen as messy business."
In 2012, fifth seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga faced top seed Novak Djokovic in the quarter-finals. With Djokovic almost certain to be the top seed again, the prospect of a repeat of last year's final between Nadal and Djokovic in the last eight would now appear to be a strong possibility.