Nadal Favored, But Not Seeded No 1 At French Open

By: Howard Fendrich, AP Tennis Writer
By: Howard Fendrich, AP Tennis Writer
Rafael Nadal

(AP Photo/Michel Euler)

PARIS (AP) _ Rafael Nadal's sustained excellence on clay and Serena Williams' current winning streak mean little thought is being given to the sort of surprises the French Open used to produce regularly.

Nadal already owns a record seven titles at Roland Garros. Plus, he's been nearly perfect after seven months off the tour because of a left knee injury. Since returning in February, Nadal is 36-2 with six titles.

And yet he will not be seeded No. 1 when the draw is held Friday. That's because the French Open decided to strictly follow the rankings, and Nadal lost points while he was away.

Williams, meanwhile, has won 24 matches in a row and is 67-3 since a first-round loss in Paris a year ago.

The tournament begins Sunday.

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