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Rafael Nadal Deserves Higher Seeding at French Open

PARIS, FRANCE - JUNE 11:  Rafael Nadal of Spain poses with the Coupe des Mousquetaires trophy in the men's singles final against Novak Djokovic of Serbia during day 16 of the French Open at Roland Garros on June 11, 2012 in Paris, France.  (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)
Matthew Stockman/Getty Images
Richard LangfordCorrespondent IMay 7, 2013

After having won seven of the last eight French Opens, it is silly to have Rafael Nadal enter the 2013 French Open as a fourth or fifth seed. 

However, that is exactly where he is headed. 

After missing the majority of the tournament action due to a knee injury following last year's Wimbledon, Nadal has slipped in the rankings to No. 5. He may improve to No. 4 before the French, and wherever he does sit heading into that tournament is where he will be seeded. 

In an article by Reuters, French Open tournament director Gilbert Ysern said this would be the case.

This was in contradiction to what Roland Garros committee member Guy Forget suggested last month by saying Nadal should receive a higher seeding. 

As Ysern explained in the Reuters article, he felt that with Nadal's dominance of the tournament that it was wrong to have him at No. 4 or 5.

He then added that "But it was said to be fiddling. What was supposed to be a strong symbol, a tribute, was seen as messy business."

Yes, it is fiddling, but it's justified and for many reasons.

Symbolism aside, seeding Nadal higher would have been best for the tournament. 

With Djokovic just beating Nadal on clay (in the attached video) and looking better than ever on the surface, a potential final with these two greats would be a dream.

Yet, if Nadal enters as the fifth seed, these two could meet in the quarterfinals.

While Nadal deserves the exception and the luxury of not having such a difficult draw, this is even more unfair to Djokovic

Djokovic hasn't done anything but gone out and dominated his way to the No. 1 ranking. He shouldn't have to worry about facing the clay dominance of Nadal in the quarterfinals. That is one of the perks of being a No. 1 seed to begin with. 

Sure, this is the way the breaks of tennis go, but they don't have to. While there are certainly detractors who see this as a slippery slope, this is an extreme case, and there is no reason to think this kind of thing would become commonplace. 

On top of everything, this cheats the fans.

Everyone knows that Nadal is worthy of a higher seeding and the draw that comes with it. If he and Djokovic meet in the quarterfinals, that is one or two rounds less that one of these two greats could potentially play. 

No one wins in that situation. 

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