Rafael Nadal says he is no longer aiming for the No. 1 ranking, preferring to organize his schedule so he can stay healthy.

That indicates the world No. 3 could play fewer events following an injury-plagued season, reducing his chances of returning to the top spot.

“For me it won’t be a goal in my career anymore,” Nadal told French television in an interview promoting his new tennis academy. “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.”

The 28-year-old, who has frequently been sidelined with knee problems and had concerns expressed about his physically punishing style of play, explained that career longevity was now an even bigger priority, saying, “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.”

Nadal will return to the courts at the Abu Dhabi exhibition, followed by the Doha ATP event.


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