Former world No1 Rafael Nadal admitted that he may never recapture the form which saw him twice crowned Wimbledon champion after crashing out to unheralded qualifier Dustin Brown yesterday.
Out of form tenth seed Nadal was beaten in four sets, 7-5, 3-6, 6-4, 6-4 by flamboyant and unconventional world No102 Brown, who maintained his unblemished record against the Spaniard having beaten him in Halle last year.
For the fourth year in succession, 14-time Major winner Nadal failed to reach the Wimbledon quarter finals, while on each occasion he has lost to a player ranked outside the world’s top 100 – a far cry from his title-winning form.
“I don’t know if I will be back to the level of 2008 or 2010 [when he won] or 2007, 2006 or 2011 [when he reached the final],” conceded Nadal.
“My motivation is to try to be back to that level. I am going to keep working on that. But if I don’t make that happen, I have played five times here on the last day and had the trophy back home two times, that is not bad.”
Brown’s victory was only the second time that the 30-year-old, who was born in Germany but has a Jamaican father, has recorded consecutive Tour-level match wins in 2015.