Nadal Fans - a hypothetical
Nadal comes back in January, but he's not the same... he still shows flashes of brilliance, but has lost a half step, isn't as confident in his knee, and while he can still beat lapdogs, he's getting pwned by the top 6-8.
Clay season rolls around, he still can't win.
Even Federer blasts the guy off the court in the FO QF's (nadal's ranking has dropped to 5) in route to his 2nd FO title.... DelPo DESTROYS him at the USO on a hot fast court 3, 4, 1... Rosol even gets a win over him in Miami 5, 5.
At every press conference it's the same: "I'm gaining confidence in each match with the knee, no? it's a work in progress, no? "
He has a zero slam, only made the finals of MC, where he lost to DelPo in straights (and at one point DelPo nails him in the groin with a monster forehand)
You really don't see any sign of improvement.... how long would you stick by him before you'd just as soon see him retire before the H2H's get reversed and the horrible losses start piling up.
When does quitting to protect your legacy outweigh the enjoyment of seeing your favorite player take the court?