(But, I'd be real bad if he crashed out early somewhere next week as well.)
It would be worse to get to finals and be all worn out going into the AUS OPEN.
Only 3 times since 1990 has the winner of the AUS played a tournament the week before.
In 2002 Thomas Johansson lost in the first round at Sydney.
In 1990 Lendl lost to Yannick Noah 6-1,6-4 at Sydney, then beat Noah 6-4, 6-1,6-2 in the Australian SF.
Novak would hope to emmulate Pete Sampras, who in 1994, lost in the first round at Doha (to 205th ranked Karim Alami), then took a WC for Sydney--won Sydney and the Australian.
PS--I changed this thread title, since that's what we're discussing, anyway.