Nadal, the top seed in the men's main draw of the China Open, which gets under way in Beijing on Monday, admitted 2009 had been tough for him due to knee and stomach injuries, but said being second-best for now was good enough.
"I started being a professional tennis player at 16 years old. That is probably not the best way to start when your body is not completely done. I've had seven years on the tour already -- a really long career," Nadal said.
"I have an aggressive style of game. I think no one can choose which style to play," he told reporters.
"Sure, I would love to serve like (Croatia's Ivo) Karlovic and to have the volley like (Roger) Federer, but my game is another. I am happy with my game.
"With my game, I have a very good career right now and if I play three more years -- three more years. If I have one more year, then one more year. If I have 10 more years, then 10 more years."
Nadal's injury problems this year started during the arduous clay court season when he put excessive strain on his suspect knee tendons while winning tournaments in Monte Carlo, Barcelona and Rome.
He took that with him into the French Open only to lose for the first time at Roland Garros in a fourth-round shocker to Sweden's Robin Soderling.
He then took two and a half months out, missing the defence of his Wimbledon crown and only returned to action at the Montreal Masters in early August, but then started to feel pain in his stomach muscles.
He withdrew from last week's Thailand Open but has been cleared to play in Beijing, where he will face Marcos Baghdatis of Cyprus in the first round.
Nadal will follow that up by the Shanghai Masters, the Masters in London and finally the Davis Cup final against the Czech Republic in December.
"It wasn't a lucky year for me. I'm very happy being number two," Nadal said.
"The important thing for me is to try to finish the year as good as possible and just try to be ready to play the Davis Cup final for my country."