According to French newspaper L’Equipe, French Open officials actually considered reseeding seven-time champion Rafael Nadal.
They thought about making him the tournament’s top seed “as a token of appreciation” but have instead opted not to.
The tournament will stick to its traditional system of seeding players according to the ATP rankings as they sit on the Monday before the tournament, May 20.
Nadal, who has dominated Roland Garros by winning seven of the last eight years, has seen his ranking slip to No. 5 after a seven-month absence because of a knee injury. Since his return in February, Nadal has made the final of all six tournaments he’s played, winning four of them.
Reseeding Nadal as one of the top two seeds for the tournament would have ensured he would not meet last year’s finalist, Novak Djokovic, before the final. Djokovic ended his eight-year reign in Monte Carlo last month. If Nadal cannot take back the No. 4 ranking over the next two weeks, he will go into Paris seeded fifth. That means he could face any of the top four seeds, which include Djokovic, Roger Federer, and Andy Murray, as early as the quarterfinals.