October 30, 2019 / 10:14 AM / 22 days ago

Federer withdraws from inaugural ATP Cup

(Reuters) - Roger Federer said on Wednesday he has withdrawn from the inaugural ATP Cup in Australia in January next year so he can spend more time with his family.

Tennis - ATP 500 - Swiss Indoors Basel - St. Jakobshalle, Basel, Switzerland - October 26, 2019 Switzerland's Roger Federer waves to the fans as he walks out on to the court ahead of his semi final match against Greece's Stefanos Tsitsipas REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann

Federer’s decision to withdraw means Switzerland can no longer take part in the nation-based event on Jan. 3-12 and that six more countries will now qualify, based on the world rankings of their top players.

"It is with great regret that I am withdrawing from the inaugural ATP Cup event," Federer, who is currently ranked number three in the world, said in a statement here

“After much discussion with both my family and my team about the year ahead, I have decided that the extra two weeks at home will be beneficial for both my family and my tennis.

“It pains me to not be a part of the most exciting new event on the calendar, but this is the right thing to do if I want to continue to play for a longer period of time on the ATP Tour.”

The $15 million dollar ATP Cup will be hosted in Brisbane, Perth and Sydney.

Eighteen countries qualified for the tournament after a first round deadline in September, with hosts Australia given a wildcard spot.

The six additional nations will be added after the second entry deadline on Nov. 13.

The countries will play in six groups of four for group stage, round-robin play, with the group winners and the two best second-placed finishers across the groups reaching the ATP Cup Finals in Sydney.

Each tie comprises two singles and one doubles match.

Top-ranked Novak Djokovic and world number two Rafa Nadal have confirmed they will play, as has former world number one Andy Murray.

Reporting by Simon Jennings in Bengaluru; Editing by Kim Coghill

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