Rafael Nadal prepares for long-awaited comeback in Brisbane - in pictures

The Spaniard makes his return after almost a year on the sidelines due to a hip injury

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Rafael Nadal said he has realistic expectations as the Spaniard prepares to make his comeback from a year on the sidelines.

The former world No1 has not played a match since injuring his hip during the second round of the Australian Open in January. He will now be seen in action at the Brisbane International, which begins on Sunday.

"I am feeling good. I can't complain. I'm feeling much better today than what I expected a month ago," Nadal said in Brisbane.

"For me, it's impossible to think about winning tournaments. But what's really possible is to try to enjoy the comeback to the courts. I don't expect much. Honestly, the only thing that I expect is to be able to go on court, to feel competitive and to give my best.

"It's going to be a tough process at the beginning. At the end, it's one year without being on the tennis court and I just have been practising for the last month in a very good intensity. I don't say that anything is impossible, but just to be here is a victory."

Andy Murray has been training with Nadal in Brisbane. Murray said Nadal was moving well and showing no signs of the hip injury.

Murray also said Nadal appeared to have made only minor changes to his game in his time away from the tour.

"His second serve is significantly harder than what he did earlier in his career," Murray said.

"But yeah, the rest of the game, unless there's a physical issue, there's not really much reason for him to make huge changes to that – it's been pretty successful.

"When he's fit and healthy, that game style is what has worked really, really well for him, looking for his forehand, trying to dominate with that shot.

"If he wants to be successful in the future, that's what he should be looking to do. That's how he was trying to play today."

Updated: December 30, 2023, 10:24 AM