My thoughts were Rafa would get a few matches under his belt before he arrives in Melbourne. This clearly won't happen.
I have grave fears that Rafa will indeed pull out of the Australian Open.
doubtful. any team would be extremely cautious about the manner in which a player like Nadal comes back to tour. half the battle is physically feeling well and playing well, but as strange as it is, often the other half is how you are perceived. seems strange to come back first event as an exho, I am sure they just want maximum time for him to find his groove before first tournament. I'm pretty confident he'll be back in Doha, there's no logical reason that Nadal would bullshit for more than a month saying he's practically recovered
I doubted he would partake in Abu Dhabi before this anyway, just doesn't make any sense to bother with an exho when you're coming back from absence... his opponents wouldn't be taking it seriously and it wouldn't help him gauge where he needs to be
pretty confident he'll be in Doha but of course who knows. if it truly was something potentially still wrong with the knee, he would not likely have mentioned a 'stomach virus'. he would have been vague about it