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Former world number three David Nalbandian has told reporters he is not interested in his ATP ranking and instead wants to be more selective in tournaments he plays in as his career draws to a close.

Speaking in Buenos Aires this week, the Argentine confirmed he will not be chasing big tournaments simply to lift his standing in the tennis world.

“I feel whole,” he said. “This year I’m going to be different. I want to go every week, choose which tournaments to play and enjoy them. I am not going to go crazy over rankings.”

Indeed, Nalbandian is right to feel content with his current situation after reaching the final of the Brazil Open despite six months away from singles action. The 31-year-old pushed world number four Rafael Nadal to the limit in Sao Paolo’s final but couldn’t topple the 11-time Grand Slam champion, instead having to make do with a runners-up trophy.

Not that this will dismay Nalbandian, who is happy just to be back on court following half a year away. He made a successful doubles return for Argentina in the Davis Cup earlier this February and continued to build his strength before Brazil.

Having just lost in the second round of the Mexico Open to world number five David Ferrer, Nalbandian now has some time to think before his next tournament this spring.

At 31 and without a tour title in three seasons, he has lived the dream as one of tennis’ elite players and must now look after his body to remain in the game.

He certainly has the physical fitness to play for another five years, but longevity comes at a cost and Nalbandian is right to be more selective of his tournament choices in order to remain competitive on tour.

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