I had thought by "compete" he meant be a serious contender for the win?
My understanding was that he was merely pointing out that even if he is medically-pronounced fit to compete,he won't automatically turn up and be one of the favourites to win like usual,and he won't just be back in action and able to play at his best.I had thought when I read that he was just trying to quieten the expectations.But I could well be wrong.
That's basically what I thought Nadal was saying too, i.e. that he won't be putting any pressure or expectation on himself for the AO, he's not going to worry about the results, but he wants to be right for the clay season.
Having said that, I wouldn't be in the least surprised if Nadal doesn't play the AO. I just have a feeling. Something just doesn't feel right in the things that are being said. It all sounds positive, but to me there is a feeling of wishful thinking as well. I might be wrong.
I wonder how Rafa is going to do when he comes back to be honest. The length of time he has been out will surely be tough to come back from. I know he will pose a threat to a lot of players even if he is not his best, but you have to wonder about those at the top. Nadal had a tough time against Djokovic last year, Andy's game has come on in leaps and bounds this year, along with his mindset, and then there is that other bloke. I suppose what I'm getting at is the game hasn't stood still since Nadal last played, and I just wonder if he might find coming back, at least as he was, quite hard going. I suppose we'll see.