CHENNAI, India, Dec 30 (Reuters) - Spaniard Rafael Nadal has targeted the 2008 Beijing Olympics after ending a third consecutive year as world number two behind Swiss maestro Roger Federer.
The 21-year-old French Open champion is the top seed at the Chennai Open next week where he will also play in the doubles with compatriot Bartolome Salva-Vidal.
“I like doubles a lot, when I can I play a lot of doubles,” Nadal told a news conference on Sunday. “This year there is special significance because of the Olympic Games.
“The Davis Cup is also there, but importantly the Olympics comes one time in four years. It is a special tournament, special motivation.”
Nadal said he could still still improve his game from 2007 but was unconcerned about Federer.
“I’d love to be number two for 50 more years,” he said.
“Especially in my situation, 5,600 or 5,700 points, that is a lot,” he said, comparing his 5,735 ranking points to Federer’s 7,180. “In a normal moment in the history of tennis, I’d have been number one.”
The claycourt specialist won six titles in 2007 and pushed Federer to the brink in an epic five-setter on grass in the Wimbledon final. However, he was subdued in the hardcourt grand slams, losing in the quarter-final at Australian Open and in the U.S. Open fourth round.
“It is difficult to play better,” Nadal said. “I played very well on grass, clay and on indoor too.
“I’m not worried about Roger, he is better than the other guys at the moment. But a lot of young guys are coming from behind at the present time.” (Editing by John Mehaffey)