Spanish tennis player Pedro Martinez has strongly criticized the protected ranking system that will allow Rafael Nadal to participate in the Olympic Games despite his low world ranking.

Martinez contends that the system unjustly benefits players like Rafael Nadal, who have been absent for extended periods—in Nadal’s case, nearly 12 months owing to a hip injury incurred at the Australian Open last year.

Martinez will  likely be left out of Spain’s squad as a result. Thanks to this contentious rule, players who have missed at least six months of competition can maintain a higher ranking. This rule has raised questions about how fairly teams are selected for major competitions like the Olympics.

Because of the protected ranking system, Roberto Carballes Baena is not included in Spain’s squad. In his place is a formidable line-up that includes Rafael Nadal, Carlos Alcaraz, Pablo Carreno Busta, and Alejandro Davidovich Fokina.

The possibility of Nadal and Alcaraz teaming up in the doubles competition adds an exciting element to Spain’s strong team as the tennis competitions at Roland Garros get closer.

Martinez attacks the protected ranking system in light of Rafael Nadal’s Olympic dreams

Martinez said though, as a fan, he wanted to see Rafael Nadal compete at the Olympics, he still had doubts about the current ranking system’s impartiality. He stated, “The protected ranking is an injustice in this case because neither of us has missed the Olympic Games due to being injured.”

It would be like someone getting hurt today and then using their protected ranking four years later to play in the Los Angeles Games, he added. There’s a noticeable disparity that calls into question the fairness of the competition and what constitutes true sporting success.

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