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Nadal, Osaka to make comeback in Melbourne Summer Set ahead of Australian Open

Two of the game’s biggest superstars, who were scarcely seen in action during the second half of 2021, will return to the courts at the Melbourne Summer Set

Rafael Nadal, Melbourne, 2021 MELBOURNE, VIC – FEBRUARY 15: Rafael Nadal of Spain returns the ball during round 4 of the 2021 Australian Open on February 15 2021, at Melbourne Park in Melbourne, Australia.

Rafael Nadal and Noami Osaka will make their long-awaited comebacks to the tennis tour in Melbourne in the first week of January, ahead of the Australian Open.

20-time Grand Slam winner Nadal, who has played only one event (Citi Open in Washington DC) since his French Open semi-final loss to Novak Djokovic, has entered the Melbourne Summer Set, which includes an ATP 250 event and two WTA 250 tournaments, at Melbourne Park from January 3 to 9, 2022.

Nadal, who will play the exhibition series Mubadala World Tennis Championships in Abu Dhabi next week, has decided to play the ATP 250 event instead of playing the ATP Cup. The Spaniard is joined by eight other top 50 players in Melbourne including former top 5 players Grigor Dimitrov and Kei Nishikori, American Reilly Opelka, and South African Lloyd Harris.

Naomi Osaka, who pulled out of her second round match at the French Open, skipped Wimbledon, and went on a break from the game following her third-round loss at the US Open, will also return in Melbourne. The tour-time Grand Slam winner will be one of the 20 top 50 women for the WTA events in Melbourne, including 11th ranked Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, US Open champion Emma Raducanu, former world No 1 Simona Halep. and Belgium’s Elise Mertens. The players will be separated into two draws the week prior to the event.

Barty and Monfils to headline Adelaide event

Meanwhile, women’s world No 1 Ash Barty will headline the Adelaide International event, a WTA 500 event which has attracted nine of the world’s top 10 players, and takes place the same week as the Melbourne Summer Set.

Barty, who won the inaugural edition of the tournament, will be joined by the likes of WTA Finals champion Garbine Muguruza, defending champion Iga Swiatek, second-ranked Aryna Sabalenka, French Open champion Barbora Krejcikova, former world No 1 Karolina Pliskova and two-time Major winner Victoria Azarenka.

The men’s event in Adelaide will be headlined by former top 10 player Gael Monfils, 2014 US Open champion Marin Cilic, Russian Karen Khachanov and local favourite John Millman.

• The 2022 ATP calendar

• The 2022 WTA calendar

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