Photo: Rafael Nadal Set to Play Brazilian Open
Spain’s Rafael Nadal, who is No. 4 in the ATP rankings, will play next month in the Brazilian Open in Sao Paulo, tournament organizers said Tuesday.
Nadal is recovering from a knee injury that has kept him off the court since July.
The 11-time Grand Slam champion pulled out of the Australian Open due to a stomach virus.
Nadal has confirmed that he will play in the Brazilian Open, which he won in 2005 at the age of 18, Luis Felipe Tavares, director of tournament organizer Koch Tavares, told the O Estado de Sao Paulo newspaper.
The Brazilian Open will be played Feb. 11-17 on clay at Sao Paulo’s Ibirapuera park.
Spain’s Nicolas Almagro, who won the tournament in 2012, 2011 and 2008, will also be in the draw.
Juan Monaco and Carlos Berlocq, of Argentina, Spain’s Pablo Andujar and Albert Ramos, and Colombia’s Santiago Giraldo are also expected to play in the tournament.
Nadal began last summer on a high note by capturing a record 7th French Open title with a victory over world No. 1 Novak Djokovic of Serbia in the final, but he has not played since a shocking second-round loss at Wimbledon.
He told Efe in August that he was suffering from a knee ailment known as Hoffa’s syndrome, which is also known as fat pad impingement and involves pain and swelling around the bottom and under the kneecap.
The Spaniard, known for his physically demanding style of play and incredible defensive skills, has struggled to stay healthy during his career, having been forced to withdraw from each of the four Grand Slam events due to various injuries.
Nadal announced last month that he would play in the Barcelona Open, which will take place April 20-28, 2013, in the northeastern Spanish city.