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Rafael Nadal insists he is not fazed by losing second place in the world rankings ahead of his appearance in the Italian Open.

The six-time French Open champion believes he is in good form as he prepares for another tilt at the Roland Garros title later this month.

The Spaniard is red hot favourite in the French Open 2012 Odds given his near immaculate recent record in Paris.

"My position is not bad. I had a good start of the season. To arrive number two or three isn't going to change my game. You have to win in the semi-finals – even if you are number two or three," said Nadal.

Roger Federer moved above Nadal in the rankings after picking up his 20th Masters title in Madrid, moving level with the Spaniard’s title haul in the process.

Nadal has spent some time winding down since his early exit on the controversial blue clay at the Madrid Open. The 25-year-old went home to Mallorca and he admitted feeling relaxed going into the Italian Open, a tournament he has won five times.

"It was fantastic for me... being in the middle of the sea, with fantastic weather, and I was able to swim a little," added Nadal.

The break was a much-needed one for Nadal ahead of a busy period of tennis. The second Grand Slam of the season begins in Paris at the end of May before attentions turn to the grass-court season.

Wimbledon begins on June 25, followed closely by the Olympics in what is billed as the fifth Grand Slam.

"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," said Nadal, who picked up gold in Beijing and is favourite in the Tennis Betting to do so again.

The 10-time Grand Slam winner will face Florian Mayer in the Italian Open second round on Wednesday.
 
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