June 2, 2024

Spanish ATP player Pedro Martinez has hit out at the protected ranking system allowing his legendary compatriot Rafael Nadal to play the Paris Olympics.

Martinez, who is set to miss out on the Olympics, has described the protected ranking rule as “an injustice” and declared he deserves to go to the Games.

Players who have been unable to compete in any tournaments due to injury for a minimum of six months are eligible to use the ATP protected ranking system.

Players can use the protected ranking to enter nine tournaments and for a period of nine months from the first event they play after returning. The protected ranking will be determined by the player’s average ranking position during the first three months of their injury.

Nadal was eligible as he was out of action for almost a full year due to the hip injury he suffered at the 2023 Australian Open.

The 22-time Grand Slam champion, who is currently ranked 275th, can use his protected ranking of No 9 to qualify for the Paris Olympics, which will run from July 27 to August 4.


Pablo Carreno Busta is another Spanish player who spent a significant spell on the sidelines and can use a protected ranking of 18 to play the Olympics.

A maximum of four players per country can play the singles event, meaning Nadal and Carreno Busta will join Carlos Alcaraz and Alejandro Davidovich Fokina as the Spanish representatives.


As the world No 48, Pedro Martinez is currently the third-highest ranked Spanish player, but he is fifth in the qualification list due to Nadal and Carreno Busta’s protected rankings.

The 27-year-old will, therefore, miss the Olympics if the duo compete as expected. Roberto Carballes Baena, who is the Spanish No 4 and world No 63, will also miss out.

As a result, Martinez questioned the fairness of the protected ranking system in an interview at the French Open.

“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,” Martinez.

“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.

“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.”

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