Rumours are abound today that it will shortly be announced that Rafa will be particapting in the 500 series in Acapulco at the end of February. There's report here in Marca ... but be warned, they really are a gossipy news service, and note that its not yet confirmed officially anywhere.
Now we know Rafa has mooted at slight changes to his schedule next year, and he's also said it will be difficult to make them. Knowing the rules of mandatory tournaments, I've also wondered where on earth he can make the changes. But obviously this is a clay court tournament, and the timing of it would mean he's in Acapulco, then straight to New York for his exho ... then of course, its Indian Wells and Miami. Will he drop one of those? Seeing as Rafa planned no tournaments this year between the end of the Australian Open and IW, this one would be an addition to his usual schedule ... assuming everything else stayed the same. Seeing as he will have been out of the game for 6 months (assuming a resumption at the end of the Decemeber), then maybe he also feels that he will need match practice, and a clay court tournament satisfies this.
Who knows?? And I'm adding to the speculation, obviously. But Rafa has at his liberty, one Masters that he can legitimately drop, so could one of the Spring hardcourt tournaments be the one? I've always assumed that if anything, it would be the Paris Masters. But as that one has never suited him and he's prepared for a "whatever" approach to it, might it actually be better to drop one of the heat affected, sole burning cement courts of North America?
Let's see if anything official comes out about Mexico ...