MELBOURNE (AFP) - Spain's Rafael Nadal insists he feels no extra pressure starting his first season as number one but admits his Australian Open preparations have been far from ideal. Nadal, beaten twice already this year after an extended post-season break with knee tendinitis, said everyone started the year from "zero." "For me, one number doesn't change nothing," he said. "I was very happy to be number two. I'm very happy, for sure, to be number one. "But every year when I was number two, and now as number one, every year everybody starts from zero. That's my feeling. At the start the new season, my goal is still the same as before." However, the Spaniard admitted he was short of match practice for the season's opening Grand Slam after a slow start to the year. Nadal, who reached the semis last year, has lost twice in his six matches this month, falling to Andy Murray at Abu Dhabi and Gael Monfils at the Qatar Open. He said he hoped to play his way into the tournament, which he starts on Tuesday against Belgium's Christophe Rochus, adding that his knees were "fine." "You never know, no? Hopefully yes," he said, when asked if he was ready for the Open. "But I was two months out of competition, so maybe I need a few more matches to get my rhythm. "But I'm OK. I think I'm OK. I'll try my best for be ready for Tuesday. Just try my best every match and expect to find my best performance." He added that despite being number one, he was still concentrating on improving his game to stay at the top of an increasingly competitive sport. Novak Djokovic is jockeying for Federer's second ranking while world number four Andy Murray is the tour's form player. "For me, the pressure is the same because the goals are still the same," Nadal said. "I'm trying to improve my tennis because I'm still very young. I'm only 22. "I had the same goals three years ago, two years ago, one year ago. So that doesn't change. Nothing has changed in my mind. "It was important to finish the season with the number one ranking after three years being number two. I'm very happy for that. If this gives me anything, it's more calm than pressure..