Rafael Nadal Will Drop Out Of The Top 4; He Could Now Meet Novak Djokovic In the French QFs!
by Tom Gainey | April 1st, 2015, 5:17 pm

As was discussed on ESPN2 earlier today during the Andy Murray-Dominic Thiem match, Rafael Nadal will drop out of the Top 4 in the rankings on Monday, and he could fall to No. 6 if David Ferrer wins the title.

Fortunately for Nadal, he will have points to pick on the clay. Usually he has to defend week after week on the dirt, but not this season. After a down pre-French clay campaign in 2014, he’ll only have Madrid to defend with points to pick up in Monte Carlo (QF), Barcelona (QF) and Rome (F).

But if Nadal doesn’t get his ranking back into the Top 4, he runs the risk (1 in 4 chance) of drawing his main clay threat Novak Djokovic as early as the quarterfinals at the French Open, as well as other events like Monte Carlo where the Top 4 will play.

Nadal has been ranked in the Top 5 every day since May 8, 2005.

Monte Carlo, where Nadal has won 8 times, begins on April 12.

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29 Comments for Rafael Nadal Will Drop Out Of The Top 4; He Could Now Meet Novak Djokovic In the French QFs!

RZ Says:

He doesn’t have as many points to defend on clay as in the past so he has a good chance of moving past Nishikori (who does have quite a few points to defend) to get back into the top 4 before the FO draw is made.

Daniel Says:

The rankings race is steaming because all 4 guys from #3 to #6 are above 5000 and below 6000 puts, plus Ferrer, Berdych and Wawrinka are knowing on the door to go above 5000 as well.

Wawrinka will have a lot to defend. Bur Murray will stand his lead, specially if he goes to final or win it. Key also if he reaches finals can add some points. Nadal has points to gain but is not that much as he defends a title and a final in Masters, which is already great for 2 tournaments. MC is where he can gain the most but is the sure tournament where he will be seeded #5, potentially playing Djoko, Fed, Murray or key in Quarters. IF all play there this year, will be a loaded draw so even second round (r16) can be a threat.

Barcelona is his safer tourney to add points. It will also depends on the other who can gain points as well. It will be an interesting clay season.

Daniel Says:

Just saw Murray will not play MC but Munich. Maybe with his #3 or #4 seed he decides to play. Otherwise Nadal will be seeded #3 or #4. Kei also did’t play last year so don’t know if he will play.

In this case, no much diference, Nadal will enter #3 with a 50-50 chance of getting Djoko in semis in MC.

Margot Says:

I think wedding is coming between Andy and MC.
Kim will probably insist on a weekend in Blackpool at the very least…;)

Daniel Says:

Yeah Margot, forgot about that, he deserves a proper honeymoon:-0

jane Says:

“potentially playing Djoko, Fed, Murray or key in Quarters.”

daniel thanks for clarifying this. the headline seems to suggest that only nole could meet rafa in the quarters when obviously fed could too, or andy albeit not at monte carlo.

their wedding is so soon!

KatH Says:

Honeymoon is in November- Andy has said he has not ruled out Monte Carlo – presumably he doesn’t want to lose any momentum he has gained, ranking et al.

Fingers crossed for his match against Tomas.

Nirmal Kumar Says:

On the other side, if he could get rid of Novak in the Quarters, things would become much easier for him in the semis and finals. I could work too in his favour.

Hippy Chick Says:

Nirmal true,Novak has more to prove on clay,where as Rafa has nothing left to prove on clay anymore its all gravy,although clay usually kick starts the season for Rafa and he builds the season around it,where as Novak is already riding the crest of a winning wave,im not really that concerned with where he is ranked,but Rafa and Novak are the best CC players ATM,so i just think the fans might actually lose out in the end,we might get a fantastic semi,but a dismal final like 2013….

Nirmal Kumar Says:

HC, yes as a tennis fan I would not prefer a 2013 final. My response was to a post about how Rafa should be concerned about meeting Novak early.

Till I see Novak or anyone beat Rafa at RG, for me he is the guy to beat. It does not matter whom he meets. It should be the other way around. Novak or others should be concerned about meeting Rafa early.

That does not mean Novak cannot beat him. Let’s see how clay season unfolds.

I shudder to think what would the clay season look like once Rafa retires. I don’t there has been any period in tennis where so much has revolved around one player, like clay season revolves around Nadal.

Daniel Says:

If Nadal is ranked 5 almost zero chance of him getting Novak. But of he drops to #6 to 8 chances increase. Almost never #1 is drawn with #5, especially in Slams.

I think for Novak playing Nada early than final is better. Final itself already represents a lot for hjm, huge preessure and will be his third, playing Nadal who never lost RG final even worst.
Hence his best match agaisnt Nadal in RG and most close to winning was 2013 semis. It is not the final match so even tough with a lot at stake they have to use that old “1 match at a time” and I have to focus on my next match.

So Nadal’s ranking and potential match with Djoko in semis is huge for this year RG.

Humble Rafa Says:

I am afraid to play anyone at Roland Garros. Very afraid indeed. Given my pathetic record, I don’t know what I will do against these quality players.

El_Flaco Says:

Having a lower seed at the French is non issue for Nadal.

RZ Says:

I’ve definitely seem grand slam matches where #1 is drawn to play #5 in the quarters (but I’m too lazy to go back and research which ones). The way the tennis draws are made, seed #5 has a 25% chance of being drawn in seed #1′s quarter.

Okiegal Says:


Don’t be a lazy butt, do us all a favor and find
it, ASAP! :)

RZ Says:

@Okiegal – okay fine! In the 2014 French Open, Nadal was seeded #1 and played against Ferrer, the #5 seed, in the quarters. http://www.rolandgarros.com/en_FR/scores/draws/ms/r5s1.html

brando Says:

@RZ: another of Daniel’s theories getting shot down early. So 1 faced 5 in the very last RG, lol. So much for guaranteed not to face seed 5 for the top seed!

Nirmal Kumar Says:

@Daniel, do you mean Novak has a better chance of beating Rafa if he faces him in Semis? I can understand your point when it comes to pressure situation in the finals when facing Nadal. Let’s see how it unfolds.

Right now we are taking Novak and Rafa for granted. It would be interesting to see few upsets too if it happens.

Daniel Says:


Let’s do an statistical anywise on this, (where is mat4 when we need him). I bet hat even that #1 and #5 has a 25% chance of occurrence it was not even close to this numbers.

When I have more time I will go all last 20-40 Slams draw to see this and we can look at the numbers to see how many times #1 played #5. And even in Masters it hardly ever happen.


That is my point, to me, facing Nadal before finals is better. Brando disagree but I am interested in what others my think.

At least the only time Nadal lost in RG was before finals when he won all 9 finals contested. So, as of now beating Nadla in RG before finals is easier;-) Ask Soderling.

brando Says:

@Daniel: oh a conspiracy theory. Me? Not interested. Look, I don’t think your an idiot (don’t lie to him Brando you really do says my conscience. Lol I’m kidding I don’t….. But a seed of Doubt has been placed in your mind now has it not? Lol, the plot thickens). All I’ll say is, Nadal could be a top 4 seed by RG. He may not even face Novak at all pre final. Or Federer for that matter. So this could all end up as being….BS that we are talk. At best it’s speculation, and that ain’t good enough for me. Peace, love, hugs and I’m checking out on this topic my TX friend.

Daniel Says:


I am mistaken, look at the last 10 RG, and #1 played #5, 4 out of 10 times, in 2014, 2012, 2011 and 2010. But #1 never faced #6 in all this 10 times, go figure. So # 6 avoids #1.

I got the impression that #1 and #5 didn’t face this often, maybe it is on Masters.

Daniel Says:


No harm. I will check masters but I got the clear impression that even though the chance is 1 out of 4, #1 and #5 were not drawn together very often. As I showed above, is not the case in Slams.

But regarding facing Nadal in finals, so far only you thinks it doesn’t have the slightest difference. Normal already understand my point and I want to see what others think. as well.

Markus Says:

Since we’re just speculating here, let me speculate, too. I think it would not matter to Djokovic at which stage of the tournament he’ll play Nadal. Djokovic vs Nadal would be the same at any level. The stress level will not change for either, Novak wanting his first, Nadal eager for his mind boggling 10th and also to maintain his hold on the French, his fortress. Nadal knows the danger if they meet in the finals, the Djokovic invasion may become complete. That’s not the kind of pressure Nadal would relish. As he himself said about facing Djokovic in any finals match, “I like challenges but I am not stupid.”

Humble Rafa Says:

I don’t know what’s wrong with you people. Because the Arrogant One is off this week does not mean you have to poke an innocent man.

I am fine. Just know it. Humble-Arrogance matches at RG will be like icing on the cake.

Heather-Flower Says:

Give the guy a break!…All this rumour speculation, gossiping and sedond guessing does absolutely nothing positive for a player!….just do your thing Rafa, try not to let your head dictate your play….just flow, hit free, don’t think or worry about what people say or think….what do they know?!….you’re awesome!….a credit to yourself, the character you are, and to the game!…and so what if you are not in the top four. …you can still do some serious damage in any draw!….be cool, stay strong, ….:) H x

Heather-Flower Says:

Sorry….meant to say second guessing….slip of the tablet fingers….H x

Okiegal Says:


You did post the link!! Thanks. I just now got on the thread and saw it. I knew you weren’t lazy!! :)

sienna Says:

The guys who can trouble Rafa are big serving and big hitting. It should be either very hot or cold and windy.
The guy playing must be on top of his A game and Rafa barely hitting B game.

And still to beat him you will have to dig deep into mental powers to pull it off.

Djokovic was close in 1 final, I think he missed his chance to beat him. Djokovic needs guys like Isner to upset Rafa.

So better give upcomming match and raise selfbelief of Isner going to clay.

SL Says:

None of this matters since Rafa is not likely to make the quarters at RG this year. His tennis has fallen off a cliff, he will probably finish outside the top 10 this year.

Top story: Nadal Dominates Thiem To Reach Monte Carlo SFs, Dimitrov Awaits; Nishikori-Zverev To Meet