Rafael Nadal insisted his number three ranking would have no affect ahead of the defence of his Rome Masters 1000 title this week.
Until a week ago, the 23-year-old Spaniard had not won a title since triumphing here a year ago and briefly dropped from world number one to number four, before moving up a place and arriving here at three.
But Nadal, who relaxed by joining Novak Djokovic, the man he beat in the final here a year ago, at Rome’s Stadio Olimpico to watch AS Roma take on Sampdoria on Sunday night, insisted that he had no problem with his ranking, even though he risks facing world number one Roger Federer in the semifinals.
“I know the rules and I’m happy with the rules and who am I to say if that is correct or not correct,” he said.
“For me and for Roger it will be a pleasure if we happen to play against each other in the semi-finals but I think it is very difficult to talk about the semi-finals before starting the tournament.”