Rafael Nadal will go into the French Open ranked No. 7, but the nine-time champion still has a high standing among his fellow players.
Nadal will not receive a higher seeding at the tournament, officials have said, deciding to stick to their usual method of following the ATP rankings. There have been some calls to promote the Spaniard, along the lines of what Wimbledon does to account for surface-specific excellence, so he cannot play one of the top four seeds in the quarterfinals.
For his rivals, however, Nadal is a top contender for the title once again, even though he has not won a clay-court title in Europe this year.
“Regardless of what anyone says to me he's the favorite,” Roger Federer said, referring to Nadal's record at Roland Garros. “The guy’s only lost once in 10 years.”
Stanislas Wawrinka, who defeated Nadal in the Rome quarterfinals, said that “Nadal is always the favorite on clay” and “the favorite for Roland Garros, along with Novak.”
The top-ranked Djokovic said he would be in favor of improving Nadal's seeding, not least to avoid playing him in the quarters, but added that it was up to the tournament. He also noted that Wimbledon adjusts its seedings annually.
“He’s still one of the fittest guys on tour, he’s won Roland Garros nine times and he definitely deserves to be one of the favorites,” said the Serb.
Nadal could be in the same quarter of the draw as either No. 1 Djokovic, No. 2 Federer, No. 3 Andy Murray or No. 4 Tomas Berdych.
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