Rankings focus not for Nadal

December 29, 2014 13:19:53 UK

Rafael Nadal has accepted that he will be unable to chase the world number one ranking and has to focus on extending his career for as long as is possible.

The 14-time Grand Slam champion suffered a number of injury problems during 2014, with his season ended early by a bout of appendicitis which required surgery.

My big goal is to play as many years as possible.

Rafael Nadal

Nadal is now back on the practice court and appears to be on track to feature at the Australian Open next month, but the Spaniard admits that he has to put a lot more thought into his playing schedule than he did previously.

He told Stade 2: “For me it (number one) won’t be a goal in my career anymore.

“If I have become No.1 because of the results I have, it’s great. But I’m not going to pursue this objective. I will follow my schedule.

“My big goal is to play as many years as possible. What I won’t do is put at risk the best years of my career to get the No.1 spot. It won’t be any more an objective for me.”

Nadal has claimed the Australian Open title on just one occasion, in 2009, when he defeated Roger Federer in an epic five-set final.

He was beaten finalist in Melbourne in both 2012 and 2014, losing to Novak Djokovic and Stanislas Wawrinka respectively.

Nadal can be backed at 4.50 to win the Australian Open again in 2015, with Djokovic 2.25 and Andy Murray 7.50.

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