Nadal not pushing the panic button

The Spaniard is preparing to launch an assault on Roland Garros later this month, with a tenth French Open title on offer. However, the 'King of Clay' no longer looks invisible on his favoured surface.

Defeat to Novak Djokovic in the semi-finals of the Monte Carlo Masters was followed by a shock exit at the hands of Fabio Fognini in Barcelona, raising questions about Nadal's ability to add to his nine French Open titles. Heading to the Madrid Masters next week, Nadal is hopeful of kick starting his clay-court campaign.

"I have the confidence that I am doing things well. When you do all you can, you can't ask for any more," Nadal has been quoted as saying by El Pais.

"I need to have a balanced point of view that is not too negative or positive. If I maintain the same desire and work rate, I hope to once again have the same chance to compete for everything like I have in the past.

"Madrid has always brought me positive energy. Both the fans and the city have given me everything I could dream of. I know things have gone worse that I would have liked up until now, but that doesn't negate my excitement to be here," he added.

"I can only keep going. After so many ups and downs I am sure that the consistency I want to have will arrive. If you have the desire, and I have, you can turn the situation around."

The 28-year-old Nadal is currently ranked fourth in the world, but could see his ranking come under threat if he fails to defend his Madrid Masters title.