But was it the flu or not that caused him to skip?
As far as I can tell, his knee was fine enough to play Australia. What am I missing? Notice the word "Therefore"
"My knee is much better and the rehabilitation process has gone well, as predicted by the doctors, but this virus didn't allow me to practise this past week," Nadal said in a statement.
"Therefore I am sorry to announce that I will not play in Doha and the Australian Open, as we had initially scheduled.
But Nadal’s uncle and coach, Toni Nadal, said the issue was proper preparation after such a long break.
With Nadal unable to play next week and unwilling to wear himself out by playing a tournament the week before the Australian Open, he would have made his return to competition in a distant, best-of-five-set Grand Slam tournament known for its brutal summer temperatures. Last January, he lost in the final to Novak Djokovic in a match that lasted nearly six hours.
“It is simply not conceivable that his first event is a best-of-five-sets event; he wouldn’t be ready for that,” Toni Nadal said in a statement. “It is true we have been quite unlucky with this, but there is nothing we can do.”
The concern is whether there is more to Nadal’s problems. In an interview with The Times of London last week in Majorca, Nadal acknowledged that the “knee is still not perfect.”
“The doctors say that the images are very good, so that is a big calm for me, but I still feel something,” he said. “I need to be careful. I need to be focused on how the knee is getting better or worse every day and don’t make a mistake that can be negative for my future. Not yet do I have the feeling that I am 100 percent ready to compete, to say, ‘I’m going to go there, I will be ready to run for every ball, to play aggressive, to do what I want with my legs and then try to play my best tennis to win.’ ”
But Pérez-Barbadillo said the virus, not the knee, was the decisive factor in his January withdrawals.
“We’re not lying to people; we never lie to people; it’s not our style,” he said. “His knees are doing well, but he’s got this thing and this thing has stopped him from practice, from getting everything on track.”