Originally Posted by fifthsetshootout
The Abu Dhabi exho is run by IMG. Federer left IMG, which is probably the reason why the organizers didn't extend an invite to him this year. Now, Nadal is reportedly leaving IMG to set up a separate management company run by his family.
I don't think it's a special coincidence that Rafa was struck by a stomach virus after the news of his departure from IMG was made public this week, since the only reason he committed to play Abu Dhabi in the first place was because of his ties to IMG. In any case, I'm sure Rafa will be fine. Whatever the deal is with him right now, he'll be back soon enough.
I had heard this rumour that he was thinking of leaving IMG (many moves in that department
after Fed had left in the middle of last year and as Djokovic has just joint them) but I really don't think it's the reason why he withdrew from Abu Dhabi : he had spoken about being back there for long, and obviously he was looking forward to being back. Also I think it's better to come back for an exho with the certainty to play 2 matches even if he loses, rather than with the pressure of an official match against a player against whom he's not supposed to lose and in a match which defines if he will be allowed to keep on playing matches the same week.
He says it's a stomach virus, I can only believe him, as it seems to me he also has had many illnesses in the past especially in stressful situations.
He's still in in Doha, we will see there.