Mark has officially withdrawn from the Sydney International starting this week. He is receiving treatment for his injury and still hopes to be able to compete at the Australian Open. However, it is more than injury recovery time that Mark must be considering with regard to this event. By not competing this week Mark loses the 40 points he earned there last year. At the Open last year he advanced to the 4th round and earned 150 points. If he competes at the Open and does not match his 4th round appearance he could slide well outside 200th in the rankings. While the ranking is a horrid number to consider, it has further ramifications in that he would be outside the main draw for all ATP and grand slam tournaments and would require either a wildcard entry or having to go back to the Challenger circuit to earn the points back to make main draws again. But if he decides his injury is too severe to allow him to play the Open he’ll activate the ATP’s protected ranking option and when he recovers, he will be able to play eight tournaments over a six month period at his protected ranking of 109.