Former world men's tennis number one Andy Murray will play in next month's ASB men's tennis Classic if this year's runner up Cameron Norrie has his way.
The 24-year-old ex Kiwi left hander who made the final in January where he lost to American Tennys Sandgren, is returning to the city where he grew up to try to win his first ATP title.
And Norrie would love to convince Murray to accept one of three main draw wildcards reserved for players who are competing in the new ATP Cup across the Tasman.
"I'll let Karl know that I will try and get Andy coming, it would be nice," Norrie told NZME from his training base in Fort Worth, Texas.
Norrie and Murray are both part of the British team who will be based in Sydney for the ATP Cup which starts on the 3rd of January. That new US$15m tournament ends on Sunday January 12, the day before the ASB men's Classic gets underway.
However, 16 of the 24 teams will be eliminated by the Wednesday before the men's Classic, opening up the possibility of highly ranked players wanting more match play 13 days before the Australian Open starts in Melbourne.
Britain is in a group alongside Belgium, India and Bulgaria and will be favoured to progress to the quarter-finals with an early exit providing the best opportunity for the Scot to seek extra tournament play.
"It's always nice spending time with Andy who has got some very good experience to offer. I think we will have a good team on paper and the goal for the team is to get ready for the Australian Open and it will be a bonus if we manage to peak and play well," Norrie said.
Murray has made a steady comeback from hip resurfacing surgery in January, culminating in winning the ATP 250 title in Antwerp in October and is ranked 126.
"It's pretty incredible what he's done to try to comeback especially with all the setbacks he had and I practised with him a lot during the Asian swing and I played him in Beijing. (Murray won 7-6 6-7 6-1) It's nice to feed off him and he gave me some very positive advice and he rates me. I think we play quite similar and both defend well," Norrie said.
Norrie was born in South Africa but grew up in Auckland and represented New Zealand as a junior where he broke into the top 10 in the ITF junior rankings. But after failing to get enough financial support he was snapped up by the LTA and switched allegiances to Britain aged 16.
He still has huge feelings for this country and returns every year for Christmas to his Buckland's Beach home where his parents David and Helen still live.
"For sure it's a huge tournament for me, I mean I grew up in New Zealand and went to the tournament as a kid and it was sick playing there and doing so well and having the crowd behind me," Norrie said.
"I am excited to be out on the court in Auckland again and play in front of my parents and sister and some of the fans who grew up watching me. It's a special event for me." Norrie said.
Norrie ranked 53 is comfortably inside the ASB Classic main draw cut off of 62 but realises he will have his work cut out to try to emulate the success he had in January.
"Obviously Auckland's always tough a week before the slams and everyone wants to get some matches in and get some confidence to start the year and head into the Australian Open so I'm happy to be in the main draw."
The field features world number five ranked Russian Daniil Medvedev for the first time alongside four other top 20 players in Fabio Fognini, Denis Shapovalov, Karen Khachanov and John Isner.
Reflecting on his year Norrie felt he improved as a player despite struggling in the Grand Slams.
"It was a solid year, I started well in Auckland and making the Acapulco semis in February was sick. There were some up and downs during the season but after just two years on the tour I will take finishing at 53. I know I am getting stronger and for 2020 I just want to make sure I am mentally there week and week out."