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Murray to play 'Baby Fed' instead of Federer at ATP Cup

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By Reuters
Murray to play 'Baby Fed' instead of Federer at ATP Cup
FILE PHOTO: Tennis - China Open - Men's Singles - Quarterfinals - National Tennis Center, Beijing, China - October 4, 2019. Britain's Andy Murray reacts during the match against Dominic Thiem of Austria. REUTERS/Jason Lee   -   Copyright  JASON LEE(Reuters)

MELBOURNE (Reuters) – Andy Murray will play Grigor Dimitrov in the opening round of the ATP Cup, with Bulgaria qualifying among the final six teams in the nation-based tournament.

Murray, on the comeback trail after hip surgery, was initially to face Roger Federer in a blockbuster Group C clash in Sydney.

Federer however pulled out of the tournament, making Switzerland ineligible. Murray will instead face Dimitrov, the man nicknamed “Baby Fed” for his similar playing style to the Swiss master.

Britain and Bulgaria will also play Belgium in Group C.

The other five teams to complete in the 24-nation field at the close of the second deadline are Chile, Poland, Uruguay, Moldova and Norway.

Their placement in the six groups of four for the round-robin phase will be confirmed at a draw later on Thursday.

The group winners and the two best second-placed finishers across the groups reach 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.

(Reporting by Ian Ransom; Editing by Paul Tait)