Rafael Nadal has suggested the tax laws in the United Kingdom will see him snub the pre-Wimbledon event at Queen's and instead play in Germany for the next two years.
The UK government's punitive tax rules on the 'passive income' of individual athletes - which means overseas stars competing in the UK have to pay tax not only on any earnings in the country (appearance fees and winnings) but also an increased proportion of their global endorsement earnings - are scaring off the Spaniard and pushing him towards the Gerry Weber Open in Halle.
Nadal told The Times newspaper: "The truth is, in the UK you have a big regime of tax. It's not about the money for playing, it's not a problem of that.
"They (Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs) 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 for the last four years, but it is more and more difficult to play in the UK. It is too much."
Cynics have claimed the former world number one is chasing the money by opting for Germany over Queen's but Nadal said: "That's not the truth.
"The problem is easy to understand. I am probably getting a bigger guarantee from Queen's than for playing in Halle but I am losing a lot more from sponsors."