Rafa Nadal has been offered a wild card into the Heineken Open, following his surprise first round exit at the Qatar Open overnight.
The 2015 Auckland event is already showcasing the strongest field in its history - with seven players in the top 20 - but the addition of Nadal would take the event into another stratosphere.
"It would be amazing," said Heineken Open tournament director Karl Budge. "Any tournament in the world would love to have a legend like Rafa and to bring him to Auckland would be something else."
Budge was in contact with Nadal's management team early this morning, within minutes of hearing the news of the Spanaird's demise in Qatar, where he lost 1-6 6-3 6-4 to 127th ranked German journeyman Michael Berrer.
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"We are prepared to do whatever it takes to bring him here," says Budge. "And I have the full commitment of my board and sponsor team to come up with the best possible package. We will leave no stone unturned and the ball is in his court."
It's not inconceivable that the World No3 could come here - but it remains a long shot. Like many others in the top ten Nadal usually prefers not to play an event in the week leading into a grand slam, preferring to do his own preparation in the host city.
"We know how Rafa prefers to build up and that remains probably the most likely option," says Budge. "But I think we have a decent shot; we have proven that we are a great place to build up for a grand slam - look at David Ferrer's track record in Melbourne over the past few years after doing well here."
Nadal hardly played in the second half of 2014, as he battled a wrist injury and also a bout of appendicitis. He is desperately short of match practice and may decide to alter his schedule, rather than go into the Australian Open with just one competitive match under his belt.
The other events next week are expected to pitch for Nadal, with the Sydney ATP tournament and exhibition events in Kooyong and Adelaide.
However, the strength of Auckland's field could be an advantage, guaranteeing some tough matches. The top seed in Sydney is the world No20 while exhibition events offer hitting practice but can't replicate the conditions of a tough match.
Nadal has played here twice before. He reached the final as a teenager in 2004 but the following year didn't make it past the first round, forced to withdraw with injury during the first set of his match.