Rafael Nadal of Spain celebrates after winning a point during his men's singles match against Peter Gojowczyk of Germany at the China Open tennis tournament in Beijing October 2, 2014. REUTERS/Petar Kujundzic
Nadal, who recently underwent laparoscopic appendectomy, is at the ninth place with $44.5 million. In the 2014 season, Nadal has won four titles and took home more than $6 million prize money. In June, he won his ninth French Open title. Nadal has current deals with Nike, Babolat, Mapfre, Kia Motors, Poker Stars, Mueller, and more. Reuters

Rafael Nadal has revealed in a recent interview that being World No. 1 is no longer a goal in his tennis career. For Nadal, being World No. 1 is just a bonus if he performs well in the tournaments that he takes part in. After his injury-plagued 2014 season, the Mallorca native's main goal is to be able to play tennis as many years as possible.

In an interview with French media outlet Stade 2 to promote his tennis academy, Nadal said that his main focus right now is his career longevity. Being on top of the world rankings in men's tennis is not going to be his motivation as he looks ahead of the 2015 season.

Nadal, who currently ranks third in the world, said he wants to be able to stay in the game late in his career. To reach the top of the world rankings is just going to be a reward for the 14-time Grand Slam champion.

"What I won't do is put at risk the best years of my career to get to the number one spot," Nadal said. "It won't be anymore an objective for me."

Nadal has spent a total of 125 weeks as World No. 1, according to his Association of Tennis Professionals, or ATP, statistics gathered by Tennis 28. The 28-year-old first reached the number one rank on Aug. 17, 2008. It was the very same year that Nadal has finished the season as World No. 1, too. In 2010 and 2013, Nadal achieved the same feat and finished the season on top of men's tennis rankings.

Nadal has had an injury-plagued 2014 season. The reigning French Open champion has battled a number of injuries (back injury during the Australian Open, wrist injury in Wimbledon, and appendicitis in the latter part of the season) that made him miss some of the important tournaments as well as the season-ending men's tennis event in London. He is currently training and preparing for his first event at the Mubadala World Tennis Championship in Abu Dhabi, which runs from Jan. 1 to Jan. 3, after recently undergoing laparoscopic appendectomy.

To reach the author of this article, email r.corpuz@ibtimes.com.au.