Premeditated vulturing; schedule set in June.Because Djokovic got out EARLY in the UsOpen.
Also because he has less mileage, less wear/tear and potentially 3+ years at the top - so he can play more than Fedal.
He can chase #1 ranking and play these mickey mouse tournaments.
What Djokovic wants is to get close to Fed #1 weeks and then win more slams than Fed to be the GOAT.
For Nadal, he is getting closer to his expiration. It is imperative for Rafa to win as many slams as he can. So that he can put distance between him and Novak, and get closer (or ahead of Fed).
Nadal's GOAT claim is based on slams alone. He can't compete for Week at #1 because he lags behind Fedovic considerably. But if somehow, Nadal won more slams than Fed and Novak, he could be the putative GOAT.
Nadal's team is FINALLY making the right decisions. He did a great job skipping Shanghai. Rightfully, his focus should be next year at the A.O and the F.O. Even playing Davis cup would not be very smart.