Rafael Nadal Likely To Be 3rd Seed at French Open 2021 & Potentially Face Novak Djokovic in the Semifinal

Published 05/08/2021, 3:30 PM EDT
Novak Djokovic of Serbia shakes hands with Rafael Nadal of Spain after winning the match point during their final singles match daring day 10 of the ATP Cup at Ken Rosewall Arena in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Andy Cheung/Getty Images)


The last time Rafael Nadal was not in the top two seeds of the French Open was back in 2017. Since then, he has swept aside every challenger in his path and in 2021 is looking towards a 5th consecutive and 14th overall French Open title.

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This year, however, Nadal is getting a stern competition on clay from the next-gen stars, and he also has his rival Novak Djokovic to worry about. With a dip in ranking, Nadal will now have to settle for being the 3rd seed at French Open 2021.

Rafael Nadal reacts during his quarter-final match against Germany’s Alexander Zverev REUTERS/Sergio Perez TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY

Being the third seed in French Open means he could face World No.1 and top seed Novak Djokovic in the semifinals. Although Nadal can face anybody with the utmost confidence at Roland Garros, playing Djokovic in a final would be better than playing him in a semifinal.

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Nadal will drop to 3rd in the rankings on Monday. Above him will be Medvedev in 2nd and Djokovic in 1st. Although the French Open is three weeks away, it is likely Nadal will stay 3rd.

Who would Rafael Nadal not earn any points before the French Open 2021?

It is highly unlikely that Nadal will play another tournament apart from the coming Italian Open 2021. Italian Open 2021 finishes by the 16th, which gives Nadal just two weeks to prepare for French Open. He will use that time to rejuvenate and prepare for it rather than play another tournament.

Rafael Nadal walks off the court after losing his quarter final match against Germany’s Alexander Zverev REUTERS/Sergio Perez

At the Italian Open 2021, Nadal has no scope for improving his ranking. The Spaniard still has 1000 points from his 2019 triumph, hence he can only lose points and further widen the gap between him and Medvedev.

The dip in ranking can be attributed to Nadal’s poor form in the clay tournaments. Nadal was already World No.3 when the clay-court season began. Medvedev had jumped the Spaniard in early March, but Nadal had a chance to reclaim the World No.2 spot early in Monte Carlo after Medvedev tested positive for COVID-19.

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In Monte Carlo Masters, Andrey Rublev ousted Nadal in the quarterfinals. But later Rafa triumphed in Barcelona and took the World No.2 spot. But Nadal’s early exit from Madrid Open saw him lose 180 points and thus he will give the World No.2 spot back to Medvedev.

Currently, Medvedev will be 150 points ahead of Nadal and could add to the lead in Rome. Nadal might have to work a bit more in French Open 2021, given his form and the draw.

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Bhavishya Mittal

1074 articles

Bhavishya Mittal is a tennis author for EssentiallySports, who is currently pursuing his Bachelor's degree in Journalism from Manipal University. A former sports editor for The Manipal Journal, Bhavishya has also worked for The New Indian Express. He has a keen eye for many sports but he is a particularly ardent follower of tennis, with a zest to create riveting articles on the ever-evolving sport.

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