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Rafael Nadal has defended his decision to turn his back on The Queen's Club after signing a two-year deal with a rival tournament in Germany.
The world No. 2 has traditionally used the AEGON Championships as a warm-up event for Wimbledon, but hassigned a two-year deal with the Gerry Weber Open in Halle.
Nadal has played at Queen's every year since 2005, except when he was forced to withdraw with an injury in 2009, but insists it is not the £750,000 appearance fee from Halle, but British tax laws that have forced his hand.
UK tax laws, which mean foreign sports stars pay taxes on their worldwide endorsements, have seen world record holder Usain Bolt snub London's premier athletics event, and now Nadal has followed suit.
"I like to play in all the tournaments where they really want me," Nadal, who would have to reach the final in London to break even, told The Times. "It is good for tennis. There is a big change in Halle, they have wanted me to be there for the last few years but I really wanted to play in Queen's.
"The truth is, in the UK you have a big regime for tax, it's not about the money for playing. They (HMRC) take from the sponsors, from Babolat, from Nike and from my watches. This is very difficult. I am playing in the UK and losing money. I did a lot more for the last four years, but it is more and more difficult to play in the UK."
Six-time Wimbledon champion Roger Federer committed to the German event after signing a lifetime deal last year, and with Nadal agreeing a two-year deal with the tournament, the AEGON Championships are facing missing out on two of the biggest names in the sport.