Spanish winner Rafael Nadal has agreed to participate in the Brisbane International in the lead-up to the 2018 Australian Open.
According to the Brisbane International organisers, the French Open winner Nadal, who will take over the number one ranking on the ATP circuit, will return to feature in the tournament. He will use the competition as a warm-up event for the first Grand Slam of the year.
Nadal’s rise to the top of the rankings has been phenomenal this season although the 15-time Grand Slam winner has been helped by injuries to Novak Djokovic and Stan Wawrinka and Andy Murray’s indifferent form.
This will be the first time since 2014 Nadal will make it to the top of the ATP Rankings.
Interestingly, Nadal featured at the Brisbane International for the first time in the 2016 edition, and while he was knocked out by Milos Raonic in the quarter-final, he later made it to the Australian Open final in Melbourne.
Nadal confirmed his decision through a statement:
“I’m very happy to be back, last year for me was the first experience and was very successful.”
“The atmosphere is great and there’s a lot of nice people supporting the event. I really enjoyed the experience.”
The organisers will be chuffed by Nadal’s return given that it resulted in some solid ticket sales and the live streams attracted more than a million hits.
The 2018 edition of the Brisbane International will be played from December 31 to January 7 and will run concurrently with the Hopman Cup in Perth.