Getting around the ATP rules and cashing in

The new rules introduced by the ATP came into force at the start of 2018.

Two back-to-back Centre Court matches at Wimbledon last year finishing prematurely prompted authorities to find ways to ensure that didn’t happen again, and unfit or over-matched players don’t look for the easy option.

The new rules introduced by the ATP came into force at the start of 2018, and already some interesting situations have come up.

What is the new rule?
Main draw players withdrawing after the Thursday preceding the start of the tournament, but before start of play, will receive 50 per cent of first-round losers’ prize money — with the replacement Lucky Loser taking the other half. But the player has to be on site before pulling out, otherwise they could be fined.

What happened?
At the ongoing ASB Classic in Auckland, four players — Ryan Harrison (in pic), Andrey Rublev, Guido Pella and Kyle Edmund — withdrew before their opening encounters. By turning up in Auckland, the players became eligible for first-round prize money and avoided an ATP fine. As it turned out, four Lucky Losers from the qualifying tournament found themselves on centre court.

Incidentally, all four players who pulled out still feature in the draw of the Australian Open, which begins on Monday.

Reasons given
Harrison, who lost the Brisbane International final to Nick Kyrgios on Sunday, said he was too tired to play. Rublev, seeded eighth for the ASB Classic who lost the Qatar Open final to Gael Monfils last week, cited a right-arm injury. Pella said he had a problem with his left shoulder. Briton Edmund, ranked 49th, lost to Grigor Dimitrov in Brisbane and has an ankle strain.


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