Nadal seeding is right - Petchey

  • By: Andy Schooler
  • Last Updated: May 24 2013, 6:16 BST

Seven-time winner Rafael Nadal will be seeded third for today's French Open draw - and that is the correct decision, according to Mark Petchey.

Rafael Nadal: Calls for him to be awarded the top seeding have been resisted
Rafael Nadal: Calls for him to be awarded the top seeding have been resisted

Claycourt great Nadal has won the Roland Garros title seven times in the last eight years but due to an injury which kept him off the court for seven months he has slipped down the rankings.

There have been calls in places for Nadal to earn the top seeding due to his history at the event but organisers have resisted those.

With the Spaniard only the third-highest ranked player in the draw, the decision means he could play world number one Novak Djokovic in the semi-finals.

Respected TV commentator Petchey, who will form part of the ITV team at the French Open, said: "They've never done it (deviated from the rankings) before. To do it for one person would be a bit of a knee-jerk reaction.

"If they want to appeal to the mass sporting world, it might be an idea, but I think people in the tennis world, we understand it.

"The other players have worked hard all year for their seedings and to get a favourable draw. To have that taken away by a committee for a Grand Slam tournament, some would have a problem with that."

In many ways the organisers have dodged a bullet as at one stage it looked as if Nadal would be seeded only fifth, meaning he could have played Djokovic in the quarter-finals.

However, titles in Madrid and Rome helped him climb back into the world's top four and since then Andy Murray has also withdrawn.

The exact rule regarding seedings at a Grand Slam tournament reads: "The selection of seeds will be at the discretion of each individual Grand Slam tournament committee, however, the computer ranking list dated approximately seven days prior to the tournament shall be a primary, but not sole, basis for such selection."

The draw for the French Open takes place today at 1030 BST.

  • ITV1 and ITV4 will screening live coverage and highlights of the French Open from May 26 to June 9.


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