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Ranking Drop Doesn't Bother Nadal Ahead Of Roland Garros

Rome, Italy

Nadal© Antonio Costantino/FITRafael Nadal has practised three times since losing in the Madrid third round to Fernando Verdasco last week.

Rafael Nadal admitted Monday that it doesn't matter if he is ranked No. 3 in the South African Airways ATP Rankings on the eve of Roland Garros, which begins on 27 May. The most important thing is that, "you just have to win".

Speaking at the Foro Italico, the historic venue of the Internazionali BNL d'Italia, the six-time Roland Garros champion said, "My position is not bad. I had a good start of the season. To arrive [at] No. 2 or 3 isn't going to change my game. You have to win in the semi-finals – even if you are No. 2 or 3."

Roger Federer, who picked up his 20th ATP World Tour Masters 1000 trophy at the Mutua Madrid Open (d. Berdych) on Sunday, replaced Nadal as World No. 2.

Nadal, 25, went onto admit, "I think everybody follows [the South African Airways ATP Rankings Race To London]. When I start the season in January, I see it like a league – a soccer league – you start and then you finish. The Race is when you know how you are doing. You start from zero and you finish at No. 6 or No. 5 and then you come back to zero again."

Nadal, who spent time with his sister and went fishing in Mallorca on Friday morning, feels relaxed ahead of his bid to win a sixth title at the Internazionali BNL d'Italia and a busy couple of months. "It was fantastic for me... being in the middle of the sea, with fantastic weather, and I was able to swim a little."

As the singles gold medallist at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, Nadal said, "The Olympics are probably the most important event in sport - [but] in tennis we are lucky to have a fantastic tour.

"[The] Olympics are probably the most difficult event to win for a tennis player. When you start your career you can probably have one chance or two chances to win the Olympics. You can have three, but you have to have a very long career and the timing has to be good. This is why it is difficult and I am lucky to have won."

The Championships at Wimbledon begins on 25 June and ends on 8 July. The Olympic tennis tournament, to be held on the grass courts of the All England Club, starts on 28 July and ends on 5 August.

Nadal, who has a 28-4 record on the 2012 ATP World Tour season, will play German Florian Mayer in the Internazionali BNL d'Italia second round on Wednesday.

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