I want to be No 1 as long as possible: Federer

DOHA (Reuters) - Roger Federer was proud to regain his world number one status last year and wants to stay top of the rankings for as long as he can, he said on Monday.

The 28-year-old Swiss leapfrogged Spain's Rafael Nadal at the top of the rankings thanks to his 2009 victories at Wimbledon, the French Open and the Cincinnati Masters.

"That was a major accomplishment for me and I would like to stay there as long as possible and try to finish 2010 as world number one."

The 15-times grand slam champion believes he can achieve even better results than he did last year.

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"I hardly played any smaller events but if I'm healthy this year I can win many more tournaments and that could also help get me more confidence, more momentum."

Federer said a feature of his previous spell as number one was the decision he made to be selective about which tournaments he played.

"It's important to listen to your signals," he said. "I think that's one thing I did really well when I became number one.

"I had all the things going for me and huge opportunities to go and chase money or tournaments around the world but I said I'm not going to do it.

"I said I'm going to look at the big picture and it's been paying off -- I'm very happy with my decisions over the years," said Federer. Nadal also begins his campaign on Tuesday, against Italy's Simone Bolelli.

(Editing by Tony Jimenez)