‘Rafael Nadal should be a top 16 seed at the French Open’, argues ATP star

Ewan West
Rafael Nadal lifts the French Open trophy
Rafael Nadal celebrates winning the 2022 French Open

Christopher Eubanks has claimed tennis legend Rafael Nadal should be given a top 16 seeding position for the 2024 French Open despite his current ranking. 

The world No 42 feels Nadal must be separated from the top 16 players, while declaring it would be “tough” to make him a top eight seed “considering the form of other players.”

Nadal is currently ranked 644th in the world, although he has risen to 511th in the live ATP Rankings after progressing to the second round at this week’s Barcelona Open.

The 37-year-old will almost certainly be unseeded at the French Open for the first time in his career if he features at the 2024 edition of the clay-court Grand Slam.

The Spaniard has claimed an astonishing 14 Roland Garros titles and holds a mind-blowing 112-3 match record from his 18 appearances at the Paris major.

The prospect of Nadal being unseeded at the French Open is fascinating, given he could face any player — including Novak Djokovic, Jannik Sinner and Carlos Alcaraz — as early as the opening round.

READ MORE: Should Rafael Nadal be seeded at the French Open? The debate in full – and cast your vote

Speaking on Tennis Channel, Eubanks made the case for Nadal being given a top 16 seed spot at Roland Garros given what he has achieved at the tournament.

“I would put him in top 16 for sure. You’ve got to space him out against the top 16 guys. If you’re going to put him 25, you might as well leave him unseeded,” said the American.

“He’s got to be inside the top 16. Off the top of my head, it could be a bit tough to go top eight considering the form of other players.

“It will be tough to take one of those guys out of the top eight. That’s why I am kind of going top eight, top 16, and 32. So I think top 16 is a pretty safe bet.

“You could make him a ninth or tenth seed. But at that point, I feel if he is not top eight, he might as well be top 16. It doesn’t really make much difference being 10, 12 or 13.”

Nadal made his return to action after over three months out due to injury at the Barcelona Open this week, where he was beaten by Alex de Minaur after overcoming Flavio Cobolli.

The 22-time Grand Slam champion has played just two tournaments since last year’s Australian Open, having missed the rest of the 2023 season due to a hip injury he suffered in Melbourne.

The former world No 1, who has revealed 2024 will likely be the last season of his remarkable career, is next set to compete at the Madrid Open.

READ MORE: French Open 2024 likely men’s singles seeds: Djokovic and Sinner projected No 1 and 2