BRISBANE, December 2, 2023 (Press Release)
Rafael Nadal, 22-time Grand Slam champion has confirmed he will begin his return to tennis in Queensland at the Brisbane International presented by Evie from 31 December.
The Spanish superstar has been out of action since suffering a hip injury in his second-round exit at Australian Open 2023 and underwent surgery in June.
“After one year outside of the Tour, I think it’s the right moment to be back,” Nadal said.
“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 is a fan favourite, having first played the Brisbane International in 2017, with the tournament providing an opportunity to prepare for the Australian Open.
The 37-year-old was crowned Australian Open 2022 men’s champion after coming from two sets down to beat Daniil Medvedev in a match that lasted five hours and 24 minutes. The epic victory marked his record 21st Grand Slam title. He went on to win his 22nd at Roland Garros.
“We are thrilled to have Rafa make his return to tennis here in Brisbane and know his fans will be very excited,” Brisbane International Tournament Director Cam Pearson said.
“We know how hard Rafa has been working to get back playing, so to see him out on court for the first time in 12 months here in Brisbane will be very special.”
The combined WTA 500 and ATP 250 tournament will also feature Grand Slam champions Naomi Osaka, Andy Murray, Victoria Azarenka, Aryna Sabalenka and Elena Rybakina, as well as world No.8 Holger Rune, world No.14 Grigor Dimitrov and world No.17 Ben Shelton when it returns to the Queensland Tennis Centre from 31 December to 7 January.
Queensland Tourism and Sport Minister Stirling Hinchliffe said the Brisbane International is shaping up as a world tennis spectacular.
“The return of the Brisbane International to Pat Rafter Arena promises to serve up an awe-inspiring and entertaining Queensland summer of tennis in 2024.
“Players of the calibre of Rafael Nadal on centre court means more interstate and overseas fans enjoying our great Queensland lifestyle and a predicted $10 million game, set and match for the visitor economy.”
Brisbane Lord Mayor Adrian Schrinner said Brisbane is ready to welcome back the 22-time Grand Slam winner to the Queensland Tennis Centre this summer.
“It’s incredible news that tennis superstar Rafael Nadal has chosen the Brisbane International as his comeback tournament and long-awaited return to tennis,” Cr 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.”
Fans will be able to see 180 of the world’s best players over 14 sessions (day and night) from 31 December to 7 January.
Adult ticket prices start from $25, and a family pass (two adults and two children) starts from $58. Kids go free* on ground passes for the first two days of the tournament.
Tickets for the Brisbane International are on sale through Ticketmaster.
More players will be announced in due course