why is Rafael Nadal not going through the qualifications to participate in the tournament?

why is Rafael Nadal not going through the qualifications to participate in the tournament?
why is Rafael Nadal not going through the qualifications to participate in the tournament?

Rafael Nadal is the most anticipated player for this 2024 edition of Roland Garros. The 274th player in the world did not have to go through qualifying to reach the main draw of the French Open, unlike other players who are sometimes better ranked. Europe 1 explains why.

One last Roland-Garros before bowing out? This 2024 edition of the French Open is eagerly awaited by all tennis fans since it could well be the last in Rafael Nadal’s rich career. Despite his 274th place in the ATP rankings, the Spaniard is already present in the main draw of the tournament without having gone through the qualifications. How is it possible ? Europe 1 explains it to you.

The protected ranking to enter the main draw

When you are a player like Rafael Nadal, who is very far down in the rankings, there are two solutions to access tournaments. There is the possibility of being offered an invitation from tournament organizers who would like to see him play on their courts. But the 14-time winner of the Mousquetaires Cup chose another option so as not to deprive other players of receiving these invitations.

Rafael Nadal used the protected classification, a system which can apply to players who have been away from the circuit for at least six months in a row due to injury or maternity. It grants a rank to the player which is defined by the average ranking during the first three months of his unavailability. To be able to be used, the player himself must make a written request to the president of his body, the ATP for players and the WTA for players.

The Spaniard was therefore awarded ninth place. A rank that he can also use to enter the main draw of 12 tournaments during the year. But there is a downside to this since it cannot award the “seeded” status which allows the highest ranked players to avoid meeting each other in the first rounds. The Mallorcan could therefore face Novak Djokovic or his compatriot, Carlos Alcaraz, as soon as he enters the running.

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