MALLORCA’S Rafa Nadal will return to tennis at the Brisbane International in Australia in January, the 22-time Grand Slam champion said on Friday.

The 37-year-old has not played since last January, when he hurt his hip flexor during a surprise defeat in the second round of the Australian Open- a title he won the previous year.

“After a year of not competing, it is time to come back,” Nadal said.

“It will be in Brisbane in the first week of January. See you there,” he added via social media.

In May, a little more than a week before the start of the French Open, Nadal announced that he would miss the tournament he’s won a record 14 times and wasn’t exactly sure when he might return to play.

Nadal had said then that he hoped to compete in 2024, which he expected to be his final season.

“You never know how things will turn out,” Nadal said at a news conference at the time, “but my intention is that next year will be my last year.”

He wound up having arthroscopic surgery in June in Barcelona and last week announced that he would definitely be back on the courts next year.

Rafa Nadal has won 22 Grand Slam titles- second to Novak Djokovic’s 24.

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