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Rafael Nadal reveals fear of failure affected his form in 2015

The King of Clay has won no majors this year, and has struggled with his form.

News 25 Dec 2015, 16:23 IST
Nadal did not have a strong showing in 2015, failing to win any major

14-time Grand Slam champion Rafael Nadal has revealed that he was affected by the ‘fear of failure’ factor, during the 2015 tennis season, for the first time in his career. The Spaniard had a forgettable 2015, after failing to win any of the majors.

He confessed that for the first time in his career, he felt the fear of not being able to play normal tennis, which affected him mentally as a player. “For the first time in my career, I went on the court with 'fear of failure’. Not of losing, but of not being able to play,” he told Tennis World USA.

“I went out there with this uncertainty. The problem wasn't about tennis. When mental problems influence you, when you've to hit a tennis ball everything is much more complicated. Or I would say, impossible. These feelings are uncomfortable, especially for me since these have been new,” he expressed, about his horrid season.

Nadal, who hasn’t won any major titles this year, has struggled to find his form, losing the Australian Open quarter-finals to Tomas Berdych and in his favourite turf, the French Open to Novak Djokovic, both in straight sets. The 29-year old bowed out in the second round at the Wimbledon against Dustin Brown in a hard-fought four sets and suffered an early exit at the US Open in the hands of Fabio Fognini.

The ‘King of Clay’ has had a mixed ATP season, having won the doubles title at the Qatar Open partnering Juan Monaco, and winning his 46th career clay-court title at the Argentina Open. He also went on to win his third Stuttgart Open title and his first grass-court title since winning the 2010 Wimbledon. His final title win in 2015 came at the German Open in Hamburg.

Nadal will hope to leave the disappointment of 2015 behind him when he begins the 2016 season at the Mubadala World Tennis Championship in Abu Dhabi. He will be joined at the tournament by his compatriot David Ferrer, World Number 4 Stan Wawrinka of Switzerland and Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga.

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