week |37| ATP: Beijing, Bucharest

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Postby flav » Sun Sep 10, 2006 5:32 am

But you wrote in the list that Ljubicic replaced Nalbandian and not Nadal :?

[oh, my mistake .. corrected that .. Jay]
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Postby smucav » Tue Sep 19, 2006 4:31 pm

R. Jayakrishnan wrote:OK, this is the scoop on all the confusion about where Ljubicic came from .. No, he was never in the entry list .. From what I can see he was simply brought in as a replacement for Nadal .. In the normal case, the tournaments use up a wildcard when a top player wants to play .. But there is an obscure rule I seem to remember, in the ATP book that ATP can replace the withdrawal of a "player essential to the viability of the tournament" (something like that) if another player can be found, without using up a wildcard. I have not noticed the rule being used (and I know it because I complained when the Chennai Open was unaware of this and wasted a wildcard they could have used on an Indian once) .. Looks like this is what happened. Nadal withdrew, and Ljubicic agreed to play .. So ATP simply replaced Nadal with Ljubicic in the draw. He never entered the entry list!
Thanks Jay.

I have seen this clause in the rulebook, but this is the first time I've seen it in practice. I wonder why it isn't used more often: when a marquee player withdraws at the last minute, a substitute could replace that player without using a wildcard intended for a countryman. (This is similar to the WTA rules for gold/silver exempt players.) It wouldn't work for the Masters Series events since all the top players are already entered, but it would cut down on some of the complaining from the tournament directors about the late withdrawals ruining the tournament.
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