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Rafael Nadal

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2011 was a very hard year for Nadal - perhaps the toughest. Nole pretty much tamed him and even though Nadal had 3 wins over Nole in 2012, all of them were on clay, Nadal's best surface. He seems all bunrt out to be quite honest. Will be very interesting to see how he fares in 2013 after the long break. Will be a crucial year for him. He will have tough competition on clay as well. I detect Nole will bring his goods on clay this time around. Andy will be the underdog and you can never write Federer off. RG doesn’t looks as a sure thing for Nadal but more importantly, he can’t go on winning it forever.
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I am reading two things out of what Nadal has said so far:

1. He will only play if he's fit.
2. If he plays, he's not expecting to win (of course this lengthy break aside, he's been known to put the pressure back on to someone else even when he's super fit)

So if he plays, he will have to play those mandatory events as well. So my guess would be that he will skip AO and all related tournaments afterwards and start with clay season.

He's definitely keeping his both options open. Let's see what happens.

Then why has he put his name down for Acapulco, IW and Miami if he has intentions of skipping them?
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Then why has he put his name down for Acapulco, IW and Miami if he has intentions of skipping them?

Why not? It's a much better option not to mention a very smart and wise move to have to put his name down in case opportunities open up. He may also feel much better physically by then. Then there are the fans. They are waiting for his return and you don't want to tell them that you are not going to play until May. There are just too many uncertainties there. He’s just keeping his options open.
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http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/tennis/rafaelnadal/9736828/Rafael-Nadal-confident-he-can-make-winning-return-at-Mubadala-Tennis-Championship.html
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If Nadal said this and meant that he could win this, then all I can say that it would be a miracle and all the other participants would have to be suffering from injury or they were ill. No one could come back from six months off and play well enough to win. I really don't think we will see Nadal winning until he's back on the clay and even then I still have my doubts it the early clay season, but we will have to wait and see. It took Del Po an age to get back to winning ways.
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If Nadal said this and meant that he could win this, then all I can say that it would be a miracle and all the other participants would have to be suffering from injury or they were ill. No one could come back from six months off and play well enough to win. I really don't think we will see Nadal winning until he's back on the clay and even then I still have my doubts it the early clay season, but we will have to wait and see. It took Del Po an age to get back to winning ways.

I'd be very surprised if Nadal was back to winning ways immediately. To me his recent comments sound like an attempt to be ultra positive, which I suppose is good in some ways, but might not be realistic. Still, Abu Dhabi is only an exhibition, so I suppose it is academic anyway.

I think with Delpo his injury affected his confidence and that took him a while to get over. He was out for a year though, maybe even a bit longer, so it is bound to shake you up a bit when you get back. It will be interesting to see when or even if, Nadal can get back to his best.
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Why is he getting so excited about an exo? I will wait and see if he plays in real tournament. Very contradictory both articles, no doubt.

Can't pinpoint my feelings when it comes to Nadal but contradictory comments like these and the vague statements surrounding his knee injuries sometimes put me in a position not to trust his words at all.
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Nadal is ill, so cant play in Abu Dhabi

http://www.usatoday.com/story/tech/2012/12/25/nadal-iphone-vstrator/1783139/

http://www.guardian.co.uk/sport/2012/dec/25/rafael-nadal-comeback-illness
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In the past 6 months since the infamous Rosol match at Wimbledon, there have been all manner of rumours about Nadal.
The RumourMill has been in overdrive today in light of his withdrawal from Doha and the AO.
Whether it's his knee, a stomach bug, or other scurrilous accusations of doping, he also has to contend with his rituals.
I don't know if he's been diagnosed, but he certainly presents as OCD.

I have no idea what is fact or fiction, but I like him and sincerely hope we get to see him back in action soon.

Here's an interesting article about his behaviour:

Inside the mind of Rafael Nadal the neurotic

http://www.theaustralian.com.au/sport/tennis/inside-the-mind-of-rafael-nadal-the-neurotic/story-fnbe6xeb-1226544759810
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We're not being told something. You don't withdraw from the Australian Open 17 days in advance with a stomach bug.
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He,s still serving his drug ban.
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Yes, I believe he is. Or IT'S BEEN EXTENDED.
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^I see you subscribe to the silent ban theory.
How about you, Nigel?
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Oops.. your post pipped mine. Now I see.

I dunno.. call me naive, I don't want to think that way.
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I was doubtful, but this has put me in a spin. 17 days off the AO and he pulls out cos he has a sore tummy? Do me a favour. I like Nadal a lot, but this is dubious at best.
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