Great Britain will compete at the inaugural ATP Cup in 2020 after Andy Murray agreed to use his protected ranking to make it happen.
The ATP Cup will take place in Sydney in January, and is seen as a rival to the Davis Cup. It is a team event, with each tie consisting of two singles and one doubles rubber.
However, since it is based upon, and contributes to, the ATP rankings, Britain were set to miss out due to Kyle Edmund dropping down to number 32 in the world.
Murray, though, has come to the rescue, deciding to use his protected ranking of number 2 in the world to essentially buy Britain’s way into the competition – although he will want to be able to use the competition for Australian Open preparation in return.
“If I use my protected (ranking), I will play as the number one player,” Murray said.
“I think if you are playing in a competition like that, the best player should be picked to play.
“The Australian Open would be the priority for me. And I don’t want to go there and not play any matches.”
Protected ranking is a system by which tennis players are helped by the ATP when they are returning from long-term injury.
When players are injured for a minimum of six months, they can request protected ranking. Since ranking points expire after a year, one injury can all but strip players of their career’s work.
The player can use their protected ranking for a limited number of times to enter tournaments’ main draws when returning from injury when their reduced official ranking is insufficient.
Protected ranking is calculated on their average ranking during the first three months of the injury, which in Murray’s case is number 2.
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