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Nadal arrives ahead of first practice on Monday

31 December 2018, by

Top seed Rafael Nadal is scheduled to have his first Brisbane International 2019 practice session at the Queensland Tennis Centre on Monday after arriving overnight.

The 17-time Grand Slam champion flew in from Abu Dhabi for his second Brisbane International campaign and spoke eagerly of his desire to get back on court for the season-opening tournament, with a scheduled practice session at QTC on Monday from 4pm.

“After a period of time off the court with some injuries it’s nice to be back,” Nadal said after touching down in Brisbane.

“As I said a couple of days ago in Abu Dhabi, for me it’s important to keep doing steps forward, not making a step back.”

The 32-year-old Spaniard, who lost in the quarter-finals to Milos Raonic two years ago, will play either Jo-Wilfried Tsonga or Australian Thanasi Kokkinakis in his first match of the new year.

Last season, Nadal won his 17th major at Roland Garros and clinched titles in Monte Carlo, Barcelona and Toronto. He finished the year as the world No.2 behind a resurgent Novak Djokovic, with the pair fighting out a gripping five-set semi-final at Wimbledon.