Rafael Nadal will not receive a higher seeding from the French Open, according to the tournament director.
The nine-time French Open is ranked No. 4 and could fall below that if he does not defend his points from winning Madrid, or reaching the final at Rome. If he's not seeded in the Top 4, Nadal could meet top players like No. 1 Novak Djokovic before the semifinals.
Grand Slams can potentially adjust seedings, like moving up players who have previously done well at the event, but only Wimbledon regularly does so, using a grass-court formula to determine player seeding.
"We thought about it," the French Open's tournament director, Gilbert Ysern, told L'Equipe. "We could not not ask the question for a champion like him, who has embodied the tournament for 10 years and only once not won a match. But the circumstances are different."
Nadal has seen his ranking drop following an injury-plagued season in which he did not play most of the second half of 2014. Two years ago, Nadal was also coming in off an injury-filled and entered the clay-court season ranked lower than No. 4, but he lifted his ranking by the French Open. The tournament declined to change his seeding that time as well.
However, Nadal is not in the same position anymore, according to Ysern, who explained, "In 2013, he came in injured. Today, it is his sporting level, it seems, which has fallen. He is not hampered. So, we will not adjust the seedings in his favor."