Former world number one, Rafael Nadal insists that he in no rush to regain top spot from Novak Djokovic.
The 25-year-old ended a seven-match losing streak against Djokovic when he secured a convincing 6-3 6-1 victory in the final of the Monte Carlo Masters on Sunday.
Nadal’s clay-court campaign continues with the Barcelona Open this week, a tournament he has won a total of seven times in the last eight years.
And although he acknowledges the significance of finally beating Djokovic, the 10-time grand slam champion claims that winning tournaments is far more important than where he lies in the rankings.
“My challenge is to play well in Barcelona, not to be number one,” said Nadal, who is closer to world number three Roger Federerthan he is to Djokovic in the ATP rankings.
“It was important to beat Novak, but if I am honest, it was more important to win in Monte Carlo. After my career all that will remain are the titles, the victories and not who I managed to win them against.
“My objective is to go day-by-day. I am starting a special tournament for me because I am playing at home and I hope to do well from the first day and to continue notching wins.”
Since his epic triumph at the Australian Open in January, Djokovic has lost to Andy Murray, John Isner and Nadal, but the Spaniard has brushed off any suggestions that his dominance has been ended.
He added: “Djokovic hasn’t fallen in the first round, he lost in a final and he came to it after winning in Australia and Miami. He is having a spectacular year.”