Rafael Nadal has collected one of Spain's top civilian honours from Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy.

The 14-time grand slam winner was awarded the Gold Medal for Merit in Work last June, but was unable to attend his scheduled presentation in November as he recovered from appendix surgery.

However, Nadal, who has struggled to rediscover top form this season, attended Rajoy's official residence on Friday to pick up the award.

"I never imagined getting a medal like this at such an important place for our country as this. I am very grateful," he said.

"I always try to give all I have in everything I do. I think this has been one of the keys to my success in my sports career.

"This has been a time of highs and lows, let's hope that with the daily work I am doing I can recover my stability and the path to victory."

Nadal will be looking to claim a 10th French Open title at Roland Garros later this month.