This is one of several WTF? Nadal threads. I can understand why people are skeptical. The AO Withdrawal weeks before the tourney, ostensibly due to a flu or similar virus, is strange to say the least.
I am not a believer in the silent ban theory. If RN and the ATP had agreed to such a ban that would last x months, RN would have said some time ago that he was rehabbing his knee until further notice. He would not enter then cancel on tournaments as that only draws attention and furthers suspicion that something strange is going on. For that matter, he could simply continue to blame his knees and not even bring up a virus. He is probably sick enough that it gave him an excuse to withdraw. Otherwise, why not just blame his knees again?
He will lose a lot of points by not playing the AO, no? He may blow off everything until the clay court season which he will probably rule again, bad knees, or not.
I think RN is enjoying his vacation at home and can simply afford to take more time off. The more time he takes off, the better for his knees. Traveling to Oz is a whole big thing. Maybe he is burnt out on the travel and prefers to wait until the clay season kicks in on the Continent to return to the tour full time? That happens in April? If he blows off Palm Springs and Miami then we know something weird is going on. I doubt he will do that though unless he had lost interest in being an elite tennis player on all surfaces. Maybe this is Borg II?
The bottom line is that people can speculate endlessly, but no one really knows what is going on except RN and his crew.
Last edited by Fearsome Forehand; 12-28-2012 at 10:07 AM.