Pedro Martinez - Miami Open 2022 and Rafael Nadal - Roland Garros 2024

Rafael Nadal Olympics entry ‘an injustice’ claims compatriot

Rafael Nadal is expected to use his protected ranking to enter the Paris Olympics, something that his fellow Spaniard Pedro Martinez believes is ‘not fair’.

Nadal spent the majority of 2023 out of action, after suffering a serious psoas (abdominal muscle) tear at the Australian Open.

As a result, the 22-time Grand Slam champion has dropped down the rankings and is currently sat at world No.275.

However, Nadal being out for an extended period means that he is eligible to use his protected ranking of No.9.

This would enable Nadal to qualify for the Paris Olympics later this year, likely to be alongside Carlos Alcaraz (No.3), Pablo Carreno Busta (also using a protected ranking of No.18) and Alejandro Davidovich-Fokina (No.32), with only four players from each nation eligible to compete in singles.

And Martinez, who is currently the third ranked Spaniard at world No.48, is expected to miss out as a result of these protected rankings, something that he appeared unhappy about when speaking at Roland Garros this year.

“In this case, the protected ranking is an injustice because neither of us has missed the Olympic Games due to being injured, regardless of whether it is Rafa, who we all want to see in the Olympic Games, including me as a fan,” explained the 27-year-old. “I don’t see it as entirely fair. It’s as if I get injured now and in four years I use the protected ranking in the Los Angeles Games.”

He continued, “I think that this year I deserve to go to the Olympic Games – and not going because of a situation like this is a bit unfair. But you can’t control it and that’s it.”

The ranking cut-off for the Paris Olympics comes after the conclusion of Roland Garros, with the aforementioned Alcaraz the only remaining Spanish player in the singles draw.

Inside the baseline…

It is understandable that Pedro Martinez feels hard done to, as he is currently ranked as one of the top four Spaniards and would make his Olympic debut without protected rankings. However, it would also seem harsh not to allow Rafael Nadal, who is a two-time Olympic gold medallist, to compete at what could be his final tournament on the grounds of Roland Garros.

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Matthew Johns, Tennishead Writer, is a professional tennis journalist with a specialist degree in Sports Journalism. He's a keen tennis player having represented his local club and University plus he's also a qualified tennis coach. Matthew has a deep knowledge of tennis especially the ATP Tour and thrives on breaking big tennis news stories for Tennishead.