Rafael Nadal Will Not Get A Better Seeding At The French Open
by Staff | May 4th, 2013, 10:33 am

French Open CEO Gilbert Ysern ended speculation today that 7-time champion Rafael Nadal might have his seeding bumped up in Paris later this month by confirming that Spaniard would be seeded based on his ranking.

Guy Forget, who serves on the French Open committee, said last month that he supported an improvement to Rafa’s seeding to reflect his dominance at the event and to prevent him from meeting a rival in the quarters. Uncle Toni also wanted a change.

Ysern said the tournament looked into the merits but decided in the end against it and leave Rafa’s seeding in the hands of the ATP computer.

As it looks, Nadal, who never personally requested any adjustment, will enter the French Open at best a No. 4 seed but more likely a No. 5 seed or possibly lower, which could place him in the quarters against a Novak Djokovic.

All four Grand Slams are allowed to seed as they choose, but only Wimbledon, because of its specialized surface, takes advantage of the rule. The US Open tried it in 1996 but faced with rising player unrest the tournament quickly re-did the draw.

The French Open has never seeded on its own and wisdom suggests that if they did it now for Nadal they’d have to do it for other players in the future, a move that would prompt the creation of a clay rankings formula, akin to Wimbledon’s seeding formula. And that would be a weighty precedent.

The French Open begins three weeks from tomorrow.

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71 Comments for Rafael Nadal Will Not Get A Better Seeding At The French Open

Alex Says:

I have never expected Rafa to be seeded higher than his actual ranking. So it’s no surprise to hear that news. I know that Wimbledon always had it’s special seeding system, but it’s not really needed anymore. It was different 20 years ago, when there were really high ranked players who were not expected to go far at all. But since there is not much difference in the surfaces anymore, they should go with the ranking as well.

tennismonger Says:

Yup, Alex, Wimbledon (& the men’s game) isn’t what it used to be – didn’t Ferrer live up to his seeding on the grass a year or two ago?

15-20 years ago: wouldn’t have happened.

tennismonger Says:

This is a bit funny really because after all, a higher seeding for Nadal really “protects” Fed, Murray & Djokovic more than anyone.

Though I have to say if Roger is ever to beat Nadal @ RG, it just could happen in an earlier round (than the semis). Doubtful, but it sure won’t be the semis or finals – that train left the stations long ago.

Has anyone come out and said it?

The guy who has won RG every year save one since 2005 does not need “protection.”

skeezer Says:

“,,,,Rafa’s seeding to reflect his dominance at the event and to prevent him from meeting a rival in the quarters. Uncle Toni also wanted a change.”

Hehe. Of course he did. Con artist still at work…..
Rules? What Rules? Same ol same ol.

Have to say, some Rafans here get it. If Rafa was to finally get a tough draw at FO and win….I mean what better way to win? He could claim it his best FO ever. Wishing hoping changing the draw per Unc Toni wishes just shows his insecurity of Rafa winning another title. Being ranked 5th and receiving a draw for a 5th ranked player is fair. Higher seeders have earned there pole position. Glad that FO officials held there ground. Agree Wimby should get on board…but ahhh….they have a tradition that is historical. ex; Wearing whites with white balls….how long did that take to change?



Does this validate your argument that draws are or can be rigged? Maybe…to think that the FO committee were even thinking about changing the seeding so as to place a player in the draw is mind boggling, no?

Giles Says:

Neither Rafa nor Toni asked for any special treatment with regards to the seedings. Guy Forget is the one that was suggesting changes to “protect” the likes of joker.
Toni just responded when asked. He did not specifically request any changes.
Vamos Rafaaaaa!

Giles Says:

The geezer still at work trying desperately to be heard.
Toni is not, never has been nor ever will be a con artist.
The family is too classy.

Giles Says:

Here’s Johnny Mac’s views on the seedings

skeezer Says:


great link, validates my point. gracias.

“If they choose to do it, [it] will be good for Rafa and it doesn’t not seem bad to me,” Toni Nadal said.”

Giles Says:

^^^ Clown, did he suggest it?

skeezer Says:

^he would gladly support it, along with the 2 yr ranking system.

Clown? Your name calling sounds eerily familiar to Fliescher. Why is that? lol

Giles Says:

^^^ Nice try. Fleischer calls you “butt lover”, I have other names for you.
Go and hide in a big black hole, geezer. Your man will soon drop to No. 3. I wonder what he would say if it was suggested he move up to No. 2 for RG. Ehh

skeezer Says:

^whats a higher #? 3……..or


rogerafa Says:

Sensible comments from alex and tennismonger although the tiny grass season is probably the reason behind wimby’s special seeding criteria. The tour has loads of clay tournaments but a player can possibly play only two grass tourneys before wimby.

I think most of the neutrals want a Rafa-Novak final. I would not like a meeting between them before that stage. Rafa does not need any protection against Andy, Roger or David. However, he probably would prefer to be protected as far as an early meeting with Novak is concerned and vice-versa.

DC Says:

i see Federer winning his 2nd FO. Novak will defeat Nadal in the QF in a 6 hours marathon match. Novak will somehow manage to defeat Ferrer in another marathon SF. Fed will easily defeat and exhausted Nole in the Finals.

Giles Says:

^^^ Wishful thinking perhaps? Lol

mat4 Says:


Forget didn’t think a bit when he proposed to change Rafa’s ranking for the FO. If he had shut it up, Rafa would “ideally” fall in Ferrer’s quarter, in Murray’s half (still the think that will happen).

The draws are rigged. It is already the third tournament in a row when Rafa is on the other side of the draw, not to mention the fixed quarter in IW. It is not that Rafa is not on Novak’s side, it is that the fab four were two on each side of the draw.

Too good to be true.

mat4 Says:

Sorry, I am so tired that even I can’t understand my post.

I wanted to be master Yoda?.. At least, I speak almost like him..

mat4 Says:

About Wimbledon:

WB never accepted the official rankings. The Brits had their own committee to design the seeds. The actual formula was probably a compromise with the ITF and ATP.

WB had its own rules from the beginning, and it is organized by a private club, if I remember well, when the FO, AO and USO are organized by national tennis federations. Also, WB doesn’t change the way of seeding at hoc, but has formulated a clear set of rules.

Anyway, it is all BS. Anybody who understands maths could have foreseen what could happen already in january, when Rafa avoided to play the AO, especially when he made clear he wouldn’t play Miami.

Anybody with some brain would just fix the draw and keep quiet about it. Forget just isn’t that clever.

harry Says:

you say — “The guy who has won RG every year save one since 2005 does not need “protection.””
errr 2009…

yeah, otherwise i largely agree with your point (about protecting other players!); although what if he meets nole in the quarters? i don’t know if rafa would be super happy about it. mind you, i would still give the edge to rafa in that; but still… i am not trying to prove a point here — merely wondering aloud if such a forceful statement can be justified…

harry Says:

^– well, all of this is moot given mat4′s compelling, albeit cynical, hypothesis :)

tennismonger Says:

@ harry -

Yes, I certainly concede that a Nole/Nadal quarterfinal would be disappointing to many (me too, I guess).

Nole’s banging on the door for sure but until it happens…Nadal is the king of RG.

Kimberly Says:

Believe me, no one wants to see nadal in his quarter. Nadal probably only cares about being on the opposite side of djokovic to hope someone else eliminates him. If not, if he has to play him in the quarter or semi, well, I’m sure he thinks he can win. Actually another big danger would be nadal would let down after winning that match and not bring the same intensity to a final or semi with another good opponent.

harry Says:

“Nadal is the king of RG.”

Yes, Rafa is the favorite at FO (given his history and everything else); my own impression of the favorites for FO is largely in line with how the “prediction market” views it: Rafa is at even odds, Nole at 8/5; Fed at 14/1 and Muzz at 16/1. If i have not made a mistake, this would loosely translate to Rafa at 50%, Nole at 37%, Fed at 7% and Muzz at 5% (all rounded).

Of course all of these are “a priori” odds, and subject to modification if there are injuries, “difficult” draws, and the outcomes at Madrid & Rome.

On a side note, i wonder how well “prediction market” probabilities predict “outright” winners on an average over many tennis events. After some digging around, i ended up with the wiki article: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prediction_market. It appears that, with a number of caveats, it is a good predictor…

harry Says:

“Believe me, no one wants to see nadal in his quarter.”

That is so true :-)

harry Says:

^— “It appears that, with a number of caveats, it is a good predictor…”
well, i don’t know if these were done for tennis/sports events; on the other hand, can’t see if the distribution of outcomes is that different to other events.

Jack Lewis Says:

“This would not happen if the rankings were made up of the results over two years. It’s not logical that [Juan Martin] del Potro was injured for one year and fell to No. 700 and had to start again. That is not good for tennis or for the show.”

It’s a great show when a player leaves for a year.
Still I don’t remember Del Potro bitching about it. How dumb does one have to be to think that players should keep their rankings and not have to play.

Wog boy Says:

^^ I am going to steal skeezer’s line, “cunning” and very foxy, but not dumb, same as constant on court coaching by Toni Nadal even he is coming from “the family which is too classy.” But every family has a black sheep, doesn’t it?

Wog boy Says:

Before I leave for the church I would like to wish Happy Easter to all posters who are celebrating Easter today (Julian calendar).



jamie Says:


Federer has ZERO chances of winning RG this year. An 3ç71p$3 will be affecting him during RG. Horrific bad omen for him. Bottom Line, he is scr3w3d.

mat4 Says:

Merry Easter, WB.

Anyway, for the naive ones:

Guy Forget as a member of the team organizing RG and a well known person in tennis circles was chosen to test the public opinion.

The French organizers, as usual, don’t really care for fair play: they want their final, but, since Rafa is ranked no 5, and since everybody else want a “big final”, to fix a draw, after the fixed draws in IW, MC, Madrid, Rome… could be too obvious. It is one thing to fix a semi, but a quarter and a semi are more visible.

Let’s make some statistics:

For Rafa, to avoid Novak in IW: 1/2, to avoid Andy and Novak in IW 1/4; to avoid again Novak in MC 1/8; to avoid Novak again in Madrid 1/16, and Murray 1/32, get Ferrer in his QF 1/64.

I think that my stats are not particularly good, but add to this Rome (where I see Federer (2), Murray (3) and Rafa in the same half), Paris, with a similar draw, would look very suspicious, so suspicious, in fact, that I wouldn’t be the only one to write about fixed draw.

It is not by chance that JMac suddenly made all those statements, that Rafa should get the no 1 seed — I see it as an attempt to “spin” the public opinion.

Finally, I am not only certain that the draws are fixed, but, from time to time, I have serious doubts that some of the results are fixed. Thinking about some strange regularities, some strange results, I wouldn’t be surprised if Novak wins the final in four sets.

mat4 Says:

In the Nadal-Djokovic rivalry, I suspect the USO finals 2010/11 to be fixed, the FO 2012, and, we shall see, the FO 2013.

Kimberly Says:

Mat4, that Some pretty deep conspiracy theory stuff. I guess it would apply to all sports, especially American sports.

Kimberly Says:

I on the other hand, choose to believe the players (for the most part) don’t take steroids, try to win all of their matches or at least the majority of them, and are actually injured when they say they are. This is my reality until someone can PROVE its different,

But yes, I guess there is a possibility we are watching juiced up humans play tennis at a level not possible without drugs, tank matches for money, and are simply puppets with big dogs calling the shots telling them when to win and lose. But too deep a conspiracy theory for me to buy into.

Ahsan Najeeb Says:


Very nice analysis and your stat is not bad at all… I would also like to add that Murray is also not a threat for Rafa on clay… So after having a look at his form on clay this year, they might mix it up and put Rafa in his quarter so that less fingers are raised on Rafa vs Ferrer every time…

Secondly, I would like to know your opinion on IW Fed vs Rafa QF… Don’t you think that negates the whole fixing of draw thing??.. Two biggest stars of tennis meeting in a QF.. Do u think the organizers would want that??

Humble Rafa Says:

Don’t worry Roland Garros. I promise I won’t take it personally.

I am not after seedings, money, etc. It’s the love for the game that keeps me going. Computer knows where I stand, if I have to beat “higher seeds”, so be it.

Humble Highness

johann Says:

Not visiting here for months and months, and then coming back again and read these samo-old-same-old “comments”… ewwwww. A man needs a shower afterwards.

Are you people totally mad? “Fixed”, “rigged”, “con artists”, “doping”…

Why don’t you find something else to follow, fly fishing perhaps? Or just collect stamps? That way you would cause no harm to any unsuspecting tennis fan who wants to read something about tennis and instead finds this cesspit.

skeezer Says:

^same ole Psuedo Rafanatic. Yawn.


courbon Says:


nadalista Says:

Rafael Nadal never sought a seeding bump for RG, he never even brought up the idea. Uncle Toni or anyone in Rafa’s camp never sought a seeding bump for Rafa, they never even brought the idea up. Rafans on this site or any other site I am aware of never wished for a seeding bump for Rafa, nor did they bring up the idea.

RG would never entertain such an idea to protect Rafa. Anyone who follows tennis and the history of Rafa and RG would know this.

Anyone with a modicum of sense know why this idea suddenly became a topic of conversation and WHO Rafa’s seeding bump was supposed to benefit.

Thank goodness the idea proved too brazen for even the Rafa haters at RG. Now can we leave this frankly ridiculous idea and move on to tennis proper, I believe there is a tournament taking place in Madrid, no?

Vamos Rafa!

nadalista Says:

So y’all want drama? Well, here’s DRAMA! From where else but the land of reality tv, good ol’ USA:


Honestly, you couldn’t make this up………I see a TV show on the horizon: The Real Housewives of Tennis?

Choice quote (Sloane about Serena):
“She’s not said one word to me, not spoken to me, not said hi, not looked my way, not been in the same room with me since I played her in Australia,” Stephens says emphatically. “And that should tell everyone something, how she went from saying all these nice things about me to unfollowing me on Twitter.”

Her mom tries to slow her down, but Sloane is insistent. “Like, seriously! People should know. They think she’s so friendly and she’s so this and she’s so that — no, that’s not reality! You don’t unfollow someone on Twitter, delete them off of BlackBerry Messenger. I mean, what for? Why?”

Plumb the depths please Sloane, plumb the depths…..why not? Not happening on court? Ne’er mind…lots of ways to garner attention!


nadalista Says:

…..or rather, please tennis-x blog, give the girl a guest columnist gig, this rant alone qualifies her for the role, no?

mat4 Says:


Of course, just to repeate it, while I am certain that the draws are fixed, I just wonder sometimes about the results: the way a dominant Djokovic on hard lost that final in 2010, the way Rafa played the fourth set against an injured Novak the following year, the comedy in RG 2012 when Novak, usually so focused, broke the thing behind his chair… We’ve got to remember that they were great friends until recently, and, who knows, they still could be. Anyway, do we know how much money is at stake? How much money changes hands? We can see that Uniqlo until recently didn’t even try to sell Novak’s apparel online, only in a few stores in the USA, and now that they sell it online, the stocks are almost always very low. How much do they earn?

Last time I was ridiculed about such suspicions, a few days later the match fixing in European football was revealed.

Anyway, those are just suspicions from my part, and I agree it is just that, but we are living in such a cynical world that that can’t be neglected.

But the draws… Don’t make me laugh: it is so obvious. Even the QF in IW was set up the way Rafa wanted. He could choose: play against Berdych or Fed, and a Fedal was more attractive, Fed wasn’t in good shape (I am certain that the organizers knew about his back problems). Then, about Andy: I don’t agree that he is not a danger on clay — on the contrary, I think he can beat anybody on any surface, and you don’t fix a draw just to make it easy for a player, but to make it difficult for another.

Günter Wallraff once wrote that the western public liked to parade on the chocolate side of life, and he was quite right. But we have a duty toward our children, toward the future generations, not to believe everything we are told, but to seek for the truth, anywhere, all the time, and not to trust everything that is told to us. Even in sport.

Colin Says:

Skeezer, don’t make cracks about Wimbledon and tradition. How about putting roofs on courts? Wimbledon is ahead of both France and the USA in that respect.
I think it is still reasonable to adjust the seedings for grass, simply because the grass season is so short, and there are so few grass tournaments these days for players to adapt to the surface, which is not like the others, despite what people say. If nothing else, it wears more over two weeks than clay, and hard presumably doesn’t wear at all.
By the way I love that phrase in the article “a Novak Djokovic”. “A”?? As if there were quite a number of players of his standard!

Ahsan Najeeb Says:


I agree that we should not believe everything that is told to us but behind everything that is hidden from us, there is a motive and we need to have a clear idea about the motives behind certain acts to form these theories and believe in them… Now if it all the draws are fixed the only motive I can think of behind it is money I.e. “Maximization of profits” by ensuring thatthe biggest stars who are being followed the most remain in the tournament for as late as possible keeping their fans interested in the tournament for longer time… Now nobody would disagree that Fed and Rafa (no matter at their best or not) are still the biggest stars of the game and attract about 80-85% of the tennis fans around the world… Now fixing their meeting in a QF would mean loss of one of the biggest star and disappointment and lack of interest thereafter, of about 40% fans and no tournament would ideally want that.. So I don’t quite agree that IW wanted Fedal match at QF stage

Now if you think that this fixing was done to facilitate Rafa, I still don’t agree because I believe that if fixing is done at all, it can not be done without taking the top players into loop… Do you think Fed would agree to meet Rafa in QF knowing his back was not 100% and he already has a poor h2h record against him which is the only thing that makes his GOAT status arguable … He is smart enough not to do that.. So I don’t think the IW draw was fixed..Maybe the fixing does take place but does not seem likely in this case.

nadalista Says:

Great to see Rafa enjoying himself!

Rafael Nadal, “Entrenando en Madrid! Gran ambiente.Practicing in Madrid! Great atmosphere!”


nadalista Says:


“The rivalry between Roger Federer and Nadal never had this much agony. There have been many long and excellent matches, of course, but the differences between the two players—Federer’s grace and brilliant offense, Nadal’s rugged athleticism and defense—make their meetings look more like theater than combat. It’s a rivalry defined by strength (Nadal’s left-handed forehand) versus relative weakness (Federer’s one-handed backhand), and Federer knows there’s little point in hanging back and rallying with Nadal for hours.”

i.e. the GOAT just wimps out. No wonder the GOAT’S disciples are defecting to Novak’s camp en masse, at least Novak shows some steel in the face of adversity.

Leon Says:

Wog boy,

Воистину воскресе!

racquet Says:

Rafa and Andy during a practice session today:


Aon Says:

nice link, and good story .

Giles Says:

Good call Andy, practice with the best!

Humble Rafa Says:

Rafa Nadal’s seeding at the French Open is irrelevant as the Spaniard’s prowess on clay means he will always be dangerous, his great rival Roger Federer said on Sunday.

I don’t have a problem with the content of this statement except the use of the word “great rival”. Better to use the word “Door Mat”. Door mat captures the essence of our “rivalry”.

skeezer Says:

^you’re right, there is no rival to someone who holds the all time Slam record.

Giles Says:

^^^ Except when the one with the slam record gets his @ss kicked time and time again!
Vamos King!!! N

skeezer Says:

u can have that and jaw all u want about it, All pro players would want the all time slam record than anything else. the pinnacle of tennis!

skeezer Says:

King of what? Dirt? Fed is the King. and he has 17 Slan reasons why!!

Vamos King Fed!!

DC Says:

Federer has a good chance of winning FO this year. He has been preparing his game for the upcoming challenges at FO & Wimbledon. He will probably surprise us with his new & improved game like he did in 2012 and grabbed the number 1 spot. Lets not forget Federer is the only player to have bagled Nadal on all three surfaces (Wimby 06 Grass, Hamburg 07 – Clay and WTF 2011 – HC). When None of the top players were able to defect Nole in 2011, Fed showed us all what he could do.
If Nole & Nadal land up in the same quarter(25% probability) or half (50% probability), expect Fed to walk away with the FO trophy after defeating Nole in the finals.

Humble Rafa Says:

^you’re right, there is no rival to someone who holds the all time Slam record.

Even Arrotards know that the goat is done and dusted as far as majors are concerned. But your Humble Highness still has a good 5-6 years left. The grandslam possibilities are endless even after accounting for 6 months of injury time per year.
One day, I am making a comeback from 8 month lay off, 2 months later, I am about to be number one.

I own the goat today. One day I will be a goat and goat owner.

Giles Says:

These types skeezer geezer make me laugh! Firstly he makes a feeble attempt at cheering in Serbian and now this, another feeble attempt at cheering in Spanish!
Vamos is for Rafa the King Of Clay!
#GeezerLinguist (NOT)

Giles Says:

HR. Hear Hear. Three cheers for your Humbleness.

jamie Says:


Federer will not win more slams or be #1 again.

Repeat with me:

Federer will not win more slams or be #1 again.

Period. End of story.

DC Says:


When Nadal wins more than 17 GS, completes 300 weeks & 5 years at #1, he will become the goat.

only 7 more GS and only 200 continuous weeks at #1 – watch out for Nadal…

Humble Rafa Says:

Since when did 200 continuous weeks at #1 become a goat requirment..Ah because the Arrogant One has it. I see.

Is getting your woman pregnant before marriage, having twins, etc.. required too?

I want to be goat on all levels :)

Giles Says:

^^^ Doesn’t fed have a 4 year handicap on Rafa?

Giles Says:

My last post was for @DC

Humble Rafa Says:

To all the Arrotards who think they are on the goat nominating committee:

Davis Cup wins don’t count towards goat your cherished one has none.

Only Olympic doubles gold counts, not singles gold because your annointed one can’t win it.

Make up your own rules…modify them to fit your own circumstances and consider yourself unbiased.

mat4 Says:

@Ahsan Najeeb:

It is not to protect Nadal, but the most “valuable” final, the show and the TV ratings. And the popularity in the country in question matters: Rafa is protected in IW and Madrid, Novak i MC, Shangai and Rome…

For years, Nadal was protected on hard and Federer on clay. But the level of protection, of course, was not the same. Federer was the second, third best player on clay, so he avoided Djokovic there, when Rafa was the fifth player on hard, vulnerable to power players, so he was considerably more protected on hard.

Looking from this angle the FO draw, you can be certain that Rafa won’t land in Novak’s half, but can only be in Andy’s. Then, you have two options: where will Fed be placed? Djokovic’s half, or Murray’s half? You could choose to have star matches from the QF: Murray-Nadal, then probably Nadal-Federer, and a final Federer-Djokovic, or Nadal-Djokovic. Or to go to a “Big four” semi: Djokovic-Federer and Murray-Nadal.

The catch 22 with the “big four semi” is that Rafa has to play against David Ferrer in the QF, and it would look quite strange, since he plays in Ferrer’s quarter for a second time in a row already, and land in his quarter a third time in Rome (and was in the same half in IW, too). So, a Murray-Nadal QF is a real possibility.

So, for me, a real possibility is to have Murray, Nadal in the same quarter, Federer and DelPotro in the same half, and, on the other side, Tsonga with Ferrer and Berdych with Djokovic.

DC Says:

@ Humble..

Roger right now holds the top 2, which are perhaps the only 2 records that define accomplishment/greatness or any other adjective you may use to define champions
1 – duration at #1,
2 – no of majors tournaments won.

These are the top two records which are used in various other sports as well to define someone as great.

Right now, if you add Djokivics or McEnroes records in these two categories to Nadal’s records, they will add up to the records that Federer holds.(+-5% in each category)

I hope Nadal plays well in the coming years and wish him the best, but as of now, Nadal has a long way to go – he needs to simply do what McEnroe did in his entire career to surpass Roger in terms of greatness.

jamie Says:

RG draw:

Federer will be #3 by then. He is not defending Madrid title nor Rome SF. He is losing earlier in both. Murray will be the #2 seed at RG.

Top half

Djokovic-Del Potro(deja vu from 2011)

Federer-Berdych(Berdych loses before QF)


Bottom half

Ferrer-Nadal(Ferrer loses before QF)

Murray-Tsonga(The Scot prepares French Toast)



Djokovic beats Federer(duh)

Nadal beats Murray(clay is not Murray’s forte)



Nadal beats Djokovic in 5 sets(wins the last slam of his career).

Ahsan Najeeb Says:


Agree about your take on FO draw… Still don’t agree about IW being fixed… If Rafa is protected in IW then there was more reason for Rafa Fed QF not taking place… Fed had beaten Rafa in 2012 and Rafa was making his comeback on hard courts after a very long time… His form was a question mark and under those circumstances it would not make any sense to fix his QF with Fed for protection… Even if the organizers knew that Fed had a bad back they would also have liked to protect Fed before semis in that case ….. In either case, fixing Fed Rafa in QF is a lose lose situation.

Steve 27 Says:


Nadal beats Djokovic in 5 sets(wins the last slam of his career).

jamie, 2 or 3 more to surpass Sampras, Can you fix it?

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