Rafael Nadal makes his long-awaited return to singles action this morning as the 22-time grand slam champion takes on old rival Dominic Thiem in the opening round of the Brisbane International in Australia.
Nadal has been out since suffering a hip injury at the Australian Open last January - almost a year ago - and underwent surgery in June. The 37-year-old returned to doubles action on Sunday, alongside Marc Lopez, but lost 6-4 6-4 to the Australian duo of Max Purcell and Jordan Thompson.
But now the Spaniard switches his attention to the singles in what is a mouthwatering clash with 2020 US Open champion Thiem, who Nadal beat in the 2017 and 2018 French Open finals.
Nadal had previously said he expected to bring the curtains down on his glittering but injury-plagued career in 2024, but in a press conference ahead of his comeback at the Brisbane International he left the door ajar.
"The problem about saying it’s going to be my last season is that I can’t predict what’s going on 100 per cent in the future. That’s the thing," Nadal said. "That’s why I say probably."
What time is Rafael Nadal vs Dominic Thiem?
The match was scheduled to start at around 8:30am GMT (UK time) on Tuesday 2 January, but will now start at closer to 9am.
How can I watch it?
It will be shown live on Sky Sports Main Event and Sky Sports Tennis.
What has Nadal said ahead of his comeback?
"I am feeling good. I can’t complain. I’m feeling much better today than what I expected a month ago.
"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 nothing is impossible, but just to be here is a victory."