“Totally Supportive Of Weighted Clay Seeding for Roland Garros”: Andy Roddick Objects Rafael Nadal’s 3rd Seed at French Open 2021

Published 05/28/2021, 1:46 PM EDT
Tennis – ATP Masters 1000 – Monte Carlo Masters – Monte-Carlo Country Club, Roquebrune-Cap-Martin, France – April 16, 2021 Spain’s Rafael Nadal reacts during his quarter final match against Russia’s Andrey Rublev REUTERS/Eric Gaillard


Twenty-time grand slam champion Rafael Nadal, who aims to clinch his fourteenth Roland Garros crown, has got a tough draw to retain the title. The Spaniard was seeded third in the tournament, which sparked a debate over the implementation of weighted seeding in the French Open, just like at Wimbledon.

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For long, there has been a huge debate over the seeding formula used by the Wimbledon Championships. Unlike the rest of the grand slams, seeds at Wimbledon are calculated depending on their performance in the grass-court season of a calendar year.

At the upcoming French Open, twenty-time grand slam champion Rafael Nadal was seeded third in the men’s draw. Because Roland Garros seedings are solely based on the ranking points earned by a player, the Spaniard dropped below Daniil Medvedev.

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Tennis – ATP Masters 1000 – Italian Open – Foro Italico, Rome, Italy – May 16, 2021 Spain’s Rafael Nadal celebrates with the trophy after winning his final match against Serbia’s Novak Djokovic REUTERS/Guglielmo Mangiapane
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Andy Roddick shares his opinion on Rafael Nadal being seeded third at French Open

With Nadal’s incredible track record on the Parisian clay, it appears a bit strange to see him seeded number three. As a result of this, the Big-3 were all placed the same half in the men’s draw at Roland Garros.

Sharing his opinion on Rafael Nadal seeding issue, former world number one and the 2003 US Open winner, Andy Roddick felt that if Roland Garros implements a separate seeding for a player depending on his/her performances on the red-dirt, he will support it.

For what it’s worth I’d be totally supportive of weighted clay seeding for RG ….. as long as the grass season could add another week or two of scheduling/tournaments to make it apples to apples”, Roddick wrote on twitter.

Generally, more players participate in clay-court events because there are a lot of tournaments scheduled before the French Open.

On the other hand, there are fewer grass-court events in the lead up to Wimbledon and all of them are ATP 500 series or 250 series tournaments. A Masters 1000 tournament is yet to be scheduled on grass. Because of this, top players like Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal don’t participate in the lead-up events to Wimbledon.

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Rafael Nadal of Spain celebrates during his Gentlemen’s Singles third round match against Mikhail Kukushkin of Kazakhstan on day six of the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club at Wimbledon on June 28, 2014 in London, England. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)

Also, the Wimbledon Championships have decided to drop off the traditional seeding of players for this year. Just like the French Open, the All England Lawn Tennis Championship also provides seeding by taking a player’s ATP ranking points into account.

On hindsight, the two different ways of seeding don’t create much difference to a lot of players. But, it’s wise that all the four grand slams have chose to adopt a uniform system to decide their player’s seedings.

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Sagar Ashtakoula

221 articles

Sagar Ashtakoula is a tennis writer at EssentiallySports. He has been following the sport since 2007. Having developed an interest in creating content, he mixed his passion for writing with his love for tennis for 2 years at SportsKeeda before joining the tennis team at EssentiallySports.

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