Johannesburg: World number one Rafael Nadal has said that staying fit is more important for him than adding to his 13 Grand Slam titles.
The Spaniard had one of the best seasons of his career in 2013 following his return in February after seven months out with a knee injury, winning 10 tournaments including a record eighth French Open crown and a second US Open title.
According to Sport24, as Nadal gears up for the start of the 2014 tour, he said that remaining healthy and being able to challenge at the top level are his main priorities, adding that he wants to start the year well and in shape to compete in the big tournaments.
Nadal further said that keeping the New Year in mind, he is not focusing on winning the ninth Roland Garros or winning Wimbledon again, which would be the third time, adding that it is more important for him to maintain his fitness in a way that will allow him to play the whole year and compete at a good level.
Nadal, who will get his next crack at a grand slam when the Australian Open starts in Melbourne in mid January, also said his enforced rest in the second half of 2012 had meant he was fresh and hungry on his return and that was possibly why he had been so successful.