Nadal Says He Is Okay With His French Open Seeding
epa03689552 Spanish tennis player Rafael Nadal returns the ball during a training session during the Madrid Open tennis tournament at the Caja Magica tennis center in Madrid, central Spain, 06 May 2013. EPA/CHEMA MOYA |
Rafael Nadal is taking his fall to the ATP fifth ranking in his stride, concentrating only his upcoming opening match at the Madrid Masters. With the pre-French Open event back to red clay after the 2012 blue experiment, the Spaniard has enough on his plate as he prepares to face a second-round starting opponent to be determined.
The former No. 1 and king of clay for the last half-decade or more has lost two of three Madrid finals, with the 800-metre altitude of the Spanish capital not entirely suited to his game. Since coming back from his seven months of knee injury idleness, the 26-year-old has won four of the six tournaments he has entered and is looking again like a major title threat for the French Open starting in just over a fortnight.
Even with Roland Garros unwilling to boost his ranking from fifth so as to avoid a possible Paris quarter-final with No. 1 Novak Djokovic, that doesn’t bother Nadal at all. “The seeded players historically have been there to protect the tournament, to protect the players, that they’re going to be fights against the best players on the first rounds.
“The players that are in front of me are there because they have been playing better than me. I haven’t played; I haven’t trained either.
“If they were not injured and I have been injured, well, with the format of the rankings that we have currently, good for them for not being injured. The problem is mine.”
Janko Tipsarevic returned to tennis for the first time since the fall of 2013 when he took the court on Friday afternoon at the Miami Open. Tipsarevic decided that he was not yet ready for singles in South Beach, but what better way to ease back into action than with a doubles match partnering fellow Serb Novak Djokovic?
Juan Martin Del Potro’s latest comeback–this one after a two-month absence–ended soon after it began on Thursday at the Miami Open. But it hardly came as it a surprise, nor was it a real disappointment. It was moral victory, in fact, in Del Potro’s eyes.
Rafael Nadal and Andy Murray headline the afternoon session on stadium court at the Miami Open on Friday. Nadal has an all-Spanish showdown with Nicolas Almagro on his hands, while Murray is going up against an in-form Donald Young.