8 Jan 2015

Nadal offered entry into Heineken Open

12:24 pm on 8 January 2015

Grand Slam tennis winner Rafael Nadal has been offered a wildcard entry into next week's Heineken Open in Auckland.

Spanish tennis star Rafael Nadal.

Spanish tennis star Rafael Nadal. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

But Sydney International officials are also considering offering the 14-time grand slam champion a wildcard into next week's Australian Open lead-up event.

Nadal was eliminated in the first round of the Qatar Open by German journeyman Michael Berrer last night, leaving him short of singles match practice before this month's Australian Open as he recovers from injury and illness.

Heineken Open tournament director Karl Budge says he's talked to Nadal's agent in a bid to get the Spaniard to Auckland.

He says the opportunity was too good to miss.

"There's a bit of strategy in behind it that we've kept that budget up our sleeve and that wildcard up our sleeve so you can pounce when these opportunities dopresent themselves. But it's certainly about being in the right place at the right time and then having a little bit of a brown envelope to sweeten the deal as well."

Budge says at this stage, Nadal is more likely to head to Melbourne early, rather than play another singles tournament.

Meanwhile, the New Zealander Artem Sitak will take on Nadal in a second round doubles match in Doha in the morning.

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