Sep 06, 2016

    Nadal's worst Slam season since 2004


    RAFAEL Nadal vowed to fight on and revive his faltering career after a shock fourth-round loss to Lucas Pouille condemned him to his most mediocre Grand Slam season since 2004.

    The 30-year-old Spaniard, the winner of 14 majors, including two in New York, suffered a 6-1, 2-6, 6-4, 3-6, 7-6 (8-6) defeat to the world number 25 in a four-hour, last-16 epic.

    Defeat means that 2016 will be the first year since 2004 that Nadal has not made a quarter-final of a Slam after a first-round exit in Australia was followed by an enforced withdrawal from the French Open after the third round due to a wrist injury.

    The same injury sidelined him from Wimbledon.

    "I am close to being 100 per cent again and I believe I can have a couple of more good years," said Nadal, whose most recent Grand Slam title came with his ninth French Open in 2014.

    His best runs since have been two quarter-final spots at the 2015 Australian and French Opens.

    "I fought to the end today but I needed something that was not there.

    "I will keep working to try and find it.

    "I will keep working hard and I am motivated to do that."