Nadal retains grand slam belief

Rafael Nadal remains hopeful that he can add to his 14 grand slam titles, and has insisted that he does not need to change his coaching team.

The Spaniard has dropped to seventh in the world rankings after a disappointing season which saw him fail to make it past the quarter-finals at a grand slam. 

Despite his struggles, Nadal was able to win titles in Buenos Aires, Stuttgart and Hamburg, but he was unable to shine on the big stages, progressing to the final of just one Masters Series event, where he lost to Andy Murray in the Madrid Open finale.

The 29-year-old has previously stated that his best days are behind him after a number of years plagued by injury and poor form, but he remains positive about his chances of adding to his tally of 14 grand slams.

"I don't know if I can win another Grand Slam, I don't know if I can do it, but I believe I can do it," he told Sky Sports.

"If that happens – and I believe that's going to happen soon because I feel much better – I'm going to find my level of tennis."

Nadal has been coached by his uncle Toni throughout his career, and it has been suggested that a change of coach could help Nadal return to his former greatness. However, Nadal does not believe this is the case, asserting that he is responsible for his poor results, not those around him.

"I'm critical with myself and I [have] got used to not find excuses outside of myself so I know when the things are not going well is myself – it's not with the people who are around me," he said.

"I have very good people around me. I'm having a great career with all those people around me so if everything was great with those people for [all] those years, they are not getting worse – that's my problem.

"I am going to be back to my best level with that team, I am sure of that. I believe in them and I believe that they believe in me. We hope to be ready for next year."

Nadal, who was speaking in his hometown of Manacor where he is currently building a tennis academy, conceded that the past year has been a struggle, but that it is one he will recover from.

"Especially during the first six months I was feeling very tired – every time I was playing and practicing," he explained.

"Being honest with you, I suffered this year – especially for those months. [But] the last couple of months I'm enjoying again and I'm not worried about my tennis level.

"I have to change, yes. I have to change one very important thing – be the player I was one year ago.

"That's the most important change. I get used to not finding excuses outside of myself – so I know when things are not going well it's myself, not the people around [me]."