Nadal not lacking motivation

Rafael Nadal's fall down the rankings has been painful to watch at times, but the Spaniard has said that his struggle for form has left him even hungrier than ever.

The former world number one now sits in eighth spot on the world rankings, with the 2015 campaign the first since 2004 in which he did not win a grand slam title.

There has been speculation that Nadal is nearing retirement, but the 29-year-old has said that quite the opposite is the case as he feels he is on his way back to returning to his former self.

"In the US Open I did better, even if I lost the match (to Fabio Fognini in the round of 32). Tough loss, but I did better. Let's try here to do better again," Nadal told reporters ahead of the China Open.

"I think I am working well. I am very motivated to go for that challenge that brings me the chance to overcome a tough situation for me. I love that feeling, and I am going to fight to make that happen."

The 14-time grand slam winner conceded that he has suffered a huge loss of confidence, but revealed that he is slowly starting to back himself once more.

"It's obvious that when you lose more than what you won, you lose your confidence, no? But the confidence comes back with victories and with good feelings on court," he explained.

"In the practices, there are better feelings for me. Now it remains to compete a little bit better (in matches). But I think it's coming."

Nadal will get his China Open campaign underway against wildcard Wu Di of China.