Rafael Nadal has reacted angrily to repeated questions over his form, claiming that the criticism has gone too far.
The Spaniard dropped to eighth in the world rankings following a lacklustre year in which he has failed to progress past the quarter-finals in any Grand Slam.
The 29-year-old, who has 14 major titles under his belt, hit back at the media following his straight-sets US Open second-round win over Diego Schwartzman, insisting that his decline is being exaggerated.
"I am number eight in the world. I am not number 100," he is quoted as saying by The Guardian.
"It seems like I am number 200 in every press conference. I am not so bad. After I arrive here with the victory, I go back to the locker room saying how bad I am. Every day.
"For the fans, it is normal that they are worried because I am worried, too. If I am not playing well, I am the first one who worries."
In consequence of his eighth-placed ranking, he could face world number one Novak Djokovic as early as the quarter-finals.