There's that second Career Slam carrot.
No. 18 - on surface not called red.
DEFEATING 'in full flight' Djokovic @ his 'home' Slam?
For rock people, he has already embarrassed 'in full flight' Federer @ Wimbledon.
This latest break after US Open with about four months of rest - if he calls it a season - bodes 'not too well' for Djokovic, given Nadal's record after hiatus.
And that's with a realistic possibility that Djokovic will complete the 'entire' season - including WTF AND some BS exhos - if Laver cup is exempted, that is.
Nadal has MOST probably forfeited the possibility of passing Federer's No. 20 by NOT winning another Slam in 2018. However, matching is still realistically 'on' - specially if he starts 2019 with AO - even more specially if it's over Djokovic - and even more specially if it is his 18th Slam title!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Nadal can fairly reasonably win at least two more FO titles - and one more non-FO Slam if everything falls in place - without Djokovic.
Translation: Given the addition to this latest juicy carrot with combination of rest and Djokvoic's continued play, there's ample motivation for Nadal to go all out for AO - even if it impinges on the 2019 clay season - within reason.
With rational potential of the three top clowns bunching up close together @ the Slam pole - if Federer is truly done AND Djokovic's surge is real - Nadal clinching 'GOAT-influencing' nugget(s) like AO with THREE succulent carrots to allow him 'separation' on the pole is a no freaking brainer, right?