Former world number one Rafael Nadal admitted he has struggled of late to rekindle his passion for tennis on Thursday after defeat by Jo-Wilfried Tsonga sent him spinning out of the ATP World Tour Finals at the group stage.
The 25-year-old Spaniard ended 2010 as the dominant force in men's tennis after completing his career grand slam but apart from a sixth French Open crown in June, this year has been a disappointing one by his sky-high standards.
His 7-6, 4-6, 6-3 defeat by French powerhouse Tsonga came just two days after he was thrashed in an hour by great rival Roger Federer and the zip and spark is clearly missing from his game.
“It’s because of lots of things. Because probably I was little bit less passionate for the game, probably I was a little bit more tired than usual. I’m happy how I practised the last three weeks. But to compete I wasn't in the right way. We can find excuses, we can find problems, but it’s not the moment to say that,” he said.
“In your career you have moments where you come back, then you go down. Today is not my best moment.”
While one grand slam title and defeats in the Wimbledon and U.S. Open finals would be rated as a massive achievement by mere mortals, 2011 will certainly not be one he looks back on particularly fondly.