World No. 644 Nadal Would Deserve Top 16 Seeding Spot At French Open Says Eubanks

World No. 644 Nadal Would Deserve Top 16 Seeding Spot At French Open Says Eubanks

by Nurein Ahmed

For Rafael Nadal, this year's Roland Garros will be unlike any other he has participated in because he will be unseeded.

The legendary Spaniard is the most successful player at the clay Slam. He has won 14 titles, which is the single-most in a Grand Slam tournament. His 112-3 record in Paris is also unmatched.

Since his tournament debut at the French Open in 2005, Nadal has always been the favorite to win the crown. In 2024, however, his chances of toppling the rest of the field are extremely low because of a number of factors, chief among them being his health.

Since the start of last season, Nadal has battled two hip injuries and only recovered in time to play this year's clay swing for, seemingly, the final time in his career. Although he intends to play beyond 2024, the writing is very much on the wall as far as his time on the court is concerned.

Some say the Fench Open will likely be his last tournament, and Nadal's statement after his defeat to Alex de Minaur in Barcelona suggests so.

Another reason why Nadal will most likely hit a brick wall in his quest to win a record-extending 15th title is his potential draw. He has entered the event with a protected ranking of No. 9, but rules dictate that he will be unseeded for earning that privilege.

Because he is unseeded, Nadal remains a possible first-round opponent for the top-ranked players like Novak Djokovic, Carlos Alcaraz, Jannik Sinner, and the in-form Stefanos Tsitsipas who captured the first clay-court Masters 1000 tournament of the season in Monte Carlo.

However, Christopher Eubanks suggested that the Spaniard deserves a Top-16 seed at the tournament for all he has achieved. The American appeared on Tennis Channel and also admitted that it would be difficult to place Nadal among the top eight even with his exceptional record.

"I would put him in Top-16 for sure. You've got to space him out against the Top-16 guys. If you're going to put him 25, you might as well leave him unseeded. He's got to be inside the Top-16. Off the top of my head, it could be a bit tough to go Top-8 considering the form of other players."

"It will be tough to take one of those guys out of the Top-8. That's why I am kind of going Top-8, Top-16, and 32. So I think Top-16 is a pretty safe bet. You could make him a ninth or tenth seed. But at that point, I feel if he is not Top-8, he might as well be Top-16. It doesn't really make much difference being 10, 12 or 13."

Nadal has moved inside the Top 600 in the live rankings with 75 points. He'll most likely need a clean sweep of winning Madrid and Rome to rise as high as No. 32 in the rankings.

At his pomp, nobody would have disputed Nadal winning both tournaments, which he has won a record number of times. Still, because of his current physical limitations, that scenario is probably beyond reach.


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