Rafael Nadal receives favorable Brisbane draw, learns first-round opponent

Nadal got a pretty favorable Brisbane draw in the earlier rounds.

by Dzevad Mesic
Rafael Nadal receives favorable Brisbane draw, learns first-round opponent
© Getty Images Sport - Bradley Kanaris

Former world No. 1 Rafael Nadal will be facing a qualifier or lucky loser in his first tournament back at the Brisbane International. 

On Saturday, the Brisbane International released its tournament draw. Nadal, a 22-time Grand Slam champion, received a pretty favorable draw since he will be starting against either a qualifier or a lucky loser. 

If Nadal successfully makes it past his opening match in Brisbane, he will also have a favorable round-of-16 match. In the last-16, Nadal would face the winner of the match between Aslan Karatsev and Jason Kubler. 

Nadal set to launch his comeback in Brisbane

After picking up a hip injury at the 2023 Australian Open and missing the remainder of the season, Nadal is ready to play his first tournament in a year in Brisbane. In Brisbane, Nadal is set to make his second appearance and his first appearance since 2017. 

When Nadal played for the first time in Brisbane in 2017, he was also coming off injury and making a comeback. After missing the last part of 2016, Nadal started the 2017 season by making his debut at the Brisbane International. 

That year, Nadal started the tournament with back-to-back wins against Alexander Dolgopolov and Alexander Zverev. But then, Nadal's run ended with a defeat to Milos Raonic in the quarterfinal. 

Ahead of his second Brisbane appearance, Nadal downplayed expectations. In his pre-tournament press conference, Nadal highlighted that he is not really thinking about the Brisbane title right now. 

“It’s impossible to think about winning tournaments today. What’s really possible is to enjoy the comeback. I don’t expect much — one year without being on the court," Nadal said.

Considering that Nadal hasn't played in 12 months, he will most certainly feel some rust in his first couple of matches. But for Nadal, the main thing right now is to stay injury-free and be competitive in his return. it remains to be seen how will Nadal do in Brisbane.

Rafael Nadal