Rafael Nadal: 'I do not see myself fighting for No. 1 spot at this stage of career'

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Rafael Nadal: 'I do not see myself fighting for No. 1 spot at this stage of career'

With five year-end no. 1 finishes, Rafael Nadal is among the most successful players since the start of the ATP ranking in 1973. The 21-time Major champion is not ready to fight for the ATP throne again at this stage of his career, sticking to his schedule and leaving the younger opponents to challenge Novak Djokovic.

Nadal lost the no. 1 position to Djokovic following 2020 Australian Open and never had a chance to fight for it again, as the Serb raised the bar too high. Struggling with injuries, Rafa could not perform at his best in the past two years, claiming a Major title at the last moment in 2020 and missing that in the season behind us.

The Spaniard played only two matches following Roland Garros in 2021, dealing with a foot injury and undergoing minor surgery in September. Returning to the practice court soon after that, Nadal gave his best to recover ahead of the new season, and he did a pretty good job.

Rafa is yet to lose a match in 2022, scoring 12 wins from as many encounters and seeking the season's third title in Acapulco. Not knowing what to expect, Nadal traveled to Melbourne in January and drew the most from that trip, lifting an ATP 250 title before conquering the first Australian Open crown in 13 years!

Rafael Nadal will not jeopardize his health for ranking goals.

Rafa earned the record-breaking 21st Major title following an epic 2-6, 6-7, 6-4, 6-4, 7-5 triumph over Daniil Medvedev in five hours and 24 minutes, enduring all the obstacles and producing one of his most notable comebacks in a career.

After taking a couple of weeks off, Nadal is back in action in Acapulco, beating Denis Kudla and Stefan Kozlov for a place in the quarter-final and a perfect 12-0 start of the season. "I do not see myself chasing the no.

1 position again, unfortunately. My physical issues prevented me from finishing the season at the top a few more times, and I have different goals today. Chasing the ATP throne would be a mistake at this point in my career. I will be thrilled to become world no.

1 contender with my light schedule, but I'm not changing my calendar just to get more points. There are many younger players ready to compete throughout the season, and I have to pick my tournaments more carefully," Rafael Nadal said.