The ongoing woes of Rafael Nadal

Recent career lowlights for Rafael Nadal, the world number five and 14-time Grand Slam-winner, who was knocked out of the Australian Open in the first round on Tuesday by countryman, Fernando Verdasco.

Rafael Nadal walks across the court during his first round match against Fernando Verdasco.   -  Reuters

Recent career lowlights for Rafael Nadal, the world number five and 14-time Grand Slam-winner, who was knocked out of the Australian Open in the first round on Tuesday by countryman, Fernando Verdasco.

August 2014: Withdraws from the US Open with a wrist problem, raising fresh fears about his health after several battles with injury.

November 2014: Undergoes surgery to remove his appendix in Barcelona.

January 2015: On his return to Grand Slam tennis, Nadal loses in the Australian Open quarter-finals 6-2, 6-0, 7-6 (7-5) to Tomas Berdych.

June 2015: Novak Djokovic ends the king of clay's six-year French Open unbeaten streak in the quarter-finals, 7-5, 6-3, 6-1.

June 2015: Nadal's ranking drops to 10th, his lowest in more than a decade, and just a year after he was world number one.

July 2015: Concerns grow as Nadal exits Wimbledon in the second round to 102nd-ranked Dustin Brown, 30.

September 2015: Nadal throws away a two-set lead to exit the US Open third round against Fabio Fognini, leaving him without a Grand Slam title for the first season since 2004.

December 2015: After his chastening season, Nadal admits he's not sure he'll ever win a Grand Slam title again. "I don't know if that's going to happen," he tells reporters in New Delhi.

January 2016: Loses in five sets to fellow Spanish left-hander Fernando Verdasco at the Australian Open, in only his second loss in the first round of a Grand Slam tournament.