It is already a classic. The day after the end of Roland Garros finds it Rafael Nadal posing for photographers with the Cup of the Musketeers in some part of Paris. It happened for the first time in 2005, after the Mallorcan’s victory against the Argentine Mariano Puerta. And it happened this Monday, for the fourteenth time, after the shocking 6-3, 6-3, 6-0 victory against the Norwegian Casper Ruud. This time, the scene of the postcard was the Alexander III bridge, in the Beaux Arts style of the French Third Republic, which crosses the Seine river.
The 2000 points that the Majorcan added in the ranking as champion of the French Open, for the moment, only allow him to rise from fifth to fourth position, a situation that Nadal had already assured since his classification for the semifinals and the elimination of the Greek Stefanos Tsitsipas in the fourth round, against Danish Holger Rune.
Nadal arrived in the French capital with 5,525 points and leaves it with 7,525, 1,245 of the Serbian’s 8,770 Novak Djokovic, which provisionally maintains world leadership. Nole is still at the top but the Roland Garros 2021 points will not be subtracted until next week, Monday June 13, since last season the Parisian Grand Slam was delayed a week due to the pandemic. As soon as Djokovic loses the 2000 points of his 2021 title, the Russian Daniel Medvedev will return to the top of the tour and Nadal will be only 245 units from the Balkan and about 500 from the Russian. At the moment, the German Alexander Zverev is still number 3, with 7795 points, although the German will have to remain inactive for some time after the injury he suffered to his right foot during the Roland Garros semifinals against Nadal.
Of course, Nadal is, by a wide margin, the leader in the Race to the Turin Masters (it is done with the count of the points won in the season). Rafa, who this year, in addition to Roland Garros, won the Australian Open and the Melbourne and Acapulco ATPs, has 5,620 points in seven contests played. Second in the standings is another Spaniard, Carlos Alcaraz, with 3,820 points in eight tournaments played (the Murcian was champion in Rio, Miami, Barcelona and Madrid).
With 36 years turned last Friday, Nadal rose to prominence as the oldest Roland Garros champion after surpassing the mark of his compatriot Andrés Gimeno, winner in 1972 at 34 years and 10 months. And Rafa has achieved it by playing with his left foot infiltrated (anesthetized) so as not to feel the pain due to the Müller-Weiss syndrome that was detected long ago and that has no solution in sight. “I would love to continue racing, so next week I am going to talk to several doctors and look at various options. I will do a radiofrequency treatment and I hope it will help me to reduce the pain. With the injections I am playing without pain, but also without sensations. If the treatment doesn’t work, you have to be realistic: there are different options, but I reserve that for myself,” said Nadal, who wants to play at Wimbledon (from June 27), but as long as he is in physical condition conventional.
What other changes occurred in the Top Ten after the French Open? Ruud, who played his first Grand Slam final, reached sixth place, being his best historical position. Alcaraz and Russian Andrey Rublev went down one step each, to seventh and eighth, respectively.
Another standout player in Paris was Croatian Marin Cilic, who reached the semi-finals (lost to Ruud). 33 years old and number 3 in 2018, the Balkan climbed six places to 17th. The Danish Rune, only 19 years old and a quarter-finalist in Paris, reached his most valuable position, 28th (+12).
Six Argentines in the Top 100
Diego Schwartzman, who said goodbye in the third round of Roland Garros (he fell to the Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov), is still the best Argentine in the ranking. El Peque climbed a step, up to 15th. Sebastián Báez, who lost to Zverev (third seed) in the second round 7-5 in the fifth set after having won the first two, remained in the same position: 36th.
Francisco Cerúndolo (lost in the first round in Paris, against Britain’s Daniel Evans) moved up one place to his best ranking: 44th. Federico Coria, who lost in his presentation at Roland Garros against the Slovakian Alex Molcan, lost eleven places to 65th.
The azuleño Federico Delbonis, who lost in the second round against Rublev, dropped eight places to 73rd. While Tomás Etcheverry from La Plata (he fell in his debut against Serbian Miomir Kecmanovic) fell back two positions (90 °).
Ascents of Argentines in the Top 200: Juan Manuel Cerúndolo, 120° (+9); Camilo Ugo Carabelli, 137th (+17); Juan Ignacio Londero, 140° (+1); Pedro Cachin, 142° (+10); and Santiago Rodríguez Taverna, 194th (+6).