The NZ Premier League tennis competition has struck a massive blow less than a week out from beginning.
The top player, world No.77 Cameron Norrie, has withdrawn from the competition.
The New Zealand raised Great Britain player revealed to Newshub he will leave for England on Tuesday to prepare for a similar event in the UK, which will include three-time Grand Slam winner and former world N0.1 Andy Murray.
Norrie told Newshub he was looking forward to being able to compete in the NZ Premier League and has enjoyed his time training with some of the country's top junior players after lockdown. However, the chance to train with Murray and play in the British Tour was the right decision for his career.
Four British Tour events are expected to be held between July 3-26 and will feature the top five British men and women including Murray, Dan Evans, Kyle Edmund, Johanna Konta and Heather Watson.
The NZ Premier League begins on June 3 and will be the first professional tennis competition in the Southern Hemisphere since the shutdown of sport due to COVID-19.
A number of NZ Davis Cup representatives will compete in the eight team competition, including Rubin Statham and Artem Sitak.