well when you think about the fact that they will head over to Rome a few days early, I just rounded. I think it's the norm for top players to take long breaks - Fed and Nadal both took a month after Wimbledon. Fed took a month or something after the AO. When you play as much as these guys do, and you have to be mentally ready to play and go deep all the time, you have to take long breaks. When you only have a week off, you can't really step completely away from tennis that long, but if you have 2+ weeks, you can actually take a couple of days OFF off. They need that.
I really believe that part of James's "slump" was that he overplayed. his schedule for the early part of the year was far too ambitious and the only reason he even took Memphis off was b/c of his wrist tendinitis. I spoke a lot about it then, but he should've planned better. But even if he had, he would've probably gone deeper in the tourneys he did play, so he still would've needed this time off.
It's really no different than a lot of the clay guys taking their time off during the summer HC season - the difference is that the Masters tourneys are pushed later into the season and there are a couple weeks of optional tourneys first. Like I said, if MC were a week or two later, our guys would play. It's just a function of their needs and the scheduling.
Congrats on getting TTC!! Just in time for Monte Carlo. You're gonna die with the coverage of the clay masters