Hi, is it possible for Rafael Nadal to use the protected ranking clause due to injury to, in effect, give him an entry benefit similar to what he would have with a 2 year ranking system?
My understanding is that if he doesn't play in more than 9 tour level tournaments after coming back from the injury he will have a #3 ranking protected for entry purposes 9 months after coming back.
So for example, as long as his application for protection is received before Dec. 28, 2012, if he were to come back for the Acapulco tournament on Feb 24, 2013 he would have ranking protection until Nov 24, 2013. I gather his protected ranking could not be used for seeding purposes or for WTF entry eligibility.
How would it work exactly? Would his points drop off like normal and only the ranking would be frozen? Or would the points be restored and frozen? Would they then drop off after another year, or would they all drop off Nov 24, using my example? Could he improve on his protected ranking?
Thanks in advance.
The protected ranking is not part of the official rankings, it's also called the "entry protection" because the only purpose of that is to enter tournaments which you couldn't enter with your actual ranking because it's too low.
In Nadal's case I don't think he will need any entry protection. His real ranking is easily "protected" until Roland-Garros and then I would be incredibly surprised if he left out of the top-50 then had problems to enter MS1000 tournaments.