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Old Jan 3rd, 2006, 03:44 PM   #2
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The ITF wrote in a new rule this year stating that if a player from any nation withdraws due to injury, they can remain in contention if the replacement player is ranked lower than the originally invited player. Thus, Australia would've still been eligible for the final because Todd Reid was ranked significantly lower than Wayne Arthurs. Sadly, the Aussies lost to the Dutch tonight and are no longer in contention anyway.

In previous years (like last year for example) players who withdrew made their nation ineligible for the final. When Mark Philippoussis withdrew due to injury last year, Australia was no longer in contention for the final even though Paul Baccanello was able to replace him. The new rule took effect this year. I think it's a good thing but it doesn't really help other countries other than Australia because it would be difficult for players from, say, the US or a European country, to fly out within 24 hours to compete on an even keel with their opponents (unless they were already in Australia and had been knocked out of either Adelaide or Gold Coast qualifying).
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