Rafael Nadal, 36, has made it clear that fighting for the No 1 position isn't really anymore his priority as he just wants to be healthy and competitive in tournaments he plays. Nadal, a record 22-time Grand Slam champion, is currently second-ranked with 5,810 points.
At the top spot, Carlos Alcaraz is sitting with 6,730 points. This week at the Paris Masters, Nadal is playing his first tournament since the US Open. In his pre-tournament press conference, Nadal underlined that he didn't return to fight Alcaraz for the top spot.
"To be clear, I will not fight anymore to be No 1. 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. I just fight to keep being competitive in every event that I play," Nadal said.
Nadal on being away from home
Last month, Nadal became a father for the first time in his life. This week, Nadal is competing in his first tournament since his wife gave birth.
Nadal admits it is hard being away from his son and adds that adapting to the new situation likely won't be easy. "It has always been difficult to leave home, to be honest. Now it's different again. After only three weeks knowing him you start missing him.
It’s a new experience, all the changes are difficult in this life and you need to adapt to it, but we are lucky today with technology we can make video calls any time we want, so that helps," Nadal explained. Surprisingly, Nadal has never won the Paris Masters.
But still Paris is the city where Nadal has had the most success as he is a record 14-time French Open champion. "I'm good, I’m happy to be on the tour again, in a city very important for me, as everyone knows.
Let's see on the competitive level how I manage. 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," Nadal added. After a first-round bye, Nadal is playing Yoshihito Nishioka in the Paris second round.