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Tennis: Nadal returns to Brisbane to open 2018 season

Rafa Nadal of Spain in Beijing, China, October 10, 2015. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon/files
Rafa Nadal of Spain in Beijing, China, October 10, 2015. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon/files

SYDNEY (Reuters) - Rafa Nadal, who will return to the top of the world rankings for the first time in three years on Monday, announced on Sunday that he would be opening his 18th season as a professional at the Brisbane International in January.

The 31-year-old was beaten in the quarter-finals of the Australian Open warm-up by Milos Raonic on debut this year before going on to lose the final to Roger Federer at Melbourne Park.

Nadal, who lost to Australian Nick Kyrgios in the quarter-finals of the Cincinnati Open on Saturday, said he had thoroughly enjoyed his first taste of the Queensland Tennis Centre.

"Last year for me was the first experience and was very successful," he said. "The atmosphere is great and there's a lot of nice people supporting the event."

The Brisbane International runs from New Year's Eve to Jan 7 next year.

(Reporting by Nick Mulvenney, editing by Greg Stutchbury)

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