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Number one ranking no longer the fight, says Nadal

Spain's Rafael Nadal. ©AFP

Paris (AFP) - Rafael Nadal, who makes his return to the court at the Paris Masters after a two-month break, insisted Tuesday he was no longer fighting to be world number one.

"I just fight to keep being competitive in every event that I play," said Nadal, currently second in the ATP rankings behind fellow Spaniard Carlos Alcarez.

Nadal, winner of 92 ATP singles titles, has been ranked world No.1 for 209 weeks of his glittering career and has finished as the year-end No.1 on five occasions.

"I will not fight anymore to be No.1," he said. 

"I did in the past.I achieved that goal a couple of times in my career and I have been very, very happy and proud about achieving that.

"But I am in a moment of my tennis career that I don't fight to be No.1."

Nadal will take on either compatriot Roberto Bautista or American Tommy Paul first up in the French capital, where he has won a record 14 French Open titles.

"I'm happy to be on the tour again after a while," Nadal said."I was not able to play much the last five months.

"So, yeah, always happy to be back in a city that everybody knows how important is for me, even if it's true that at the same time that in this (Masters) event I never had a lot of positive things in my career."

Nadal, who said it had been "tough" to leave home and his three-week-old son, also played down concerns over his fitness.

"Let's see on the competitive level how I manage," he said."In older bodies like my one, it's easier to know how the things are going when you are playing tournaments in a row.

"When you are coming back from a period of time outside of competition, it's difficult to know how you're going to be playing, how your body is going to respond because it's obvious that the tour level is different."

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