Rafael Nadal, the 22-time Grand Slam champion, is set to make his return to tennis at the Brisbane International presented by Evie starting on December 31.
The Spanish tennis superstar has been sidelined since a hip injury forced his exit in the second round of the 2023 Australian Open, leading to surgery in June.
“After one year outside of the Tour, I think it’s the right moment to be back,” Nadal said back in early December.
“I have been working hard and feeling much better the last couple of weeks, so I feel ready to announce that I will be back in Brisbane the first week of the season.”
Nadal’s last major triumph was at the Australian Open in 2022, where he secured his record 21st Grand Slam title by defeating Daniil Medvedev in an epic match.
When is the Brisbane tennis tournament starting?
The upcoming Brisbane International, featuring both WTA 500 and ATP 250 events, will also showcase other notable players, including Naomi Osaka, Andy Murray, Victoria Azarenka, Aryna Sabalenka, and more.
Brisbane Lord Mayor Adrian Schrinner expressed excitement about welcoming Nadal back to the Queensland Tennis Centre, where fans will have the opportunity to witness 180 of the world’s best players across 14 sessions from December 31 to January 7.
“It’s incredible news that tennis superstar Rafael Nadal has chosen the Brisbane International as his comeback tournament and long-awaited return to tennis,” Schrinner said.
“After 12 months off court, we’re thrilled to support this world-class international tennis event and welcome Nadal back to Australia’s top sporting city.
“We expect residents, visitors and tennis fans to flock to the Queensland Tennis Centre to catch a glimpse of Nadal back in action, injecting millions of dollars into Brisbane’s economy through our local hotels, restaurants and tourism experiences.”
What day will Rafael Nadal be playing?
Nadal does not know his upcoming opponent yet, as the draw ceremony for the Brisbane International is scheduled to occur on Saturday, December 30, at 09:00 AEST.