Rafael Nadal's camp confirms February return

Rafael Nadal on January 26, 2010
© PA Photos
Rafael Nadal's spokesman confirms that the 11-time Grand Slam winner will play in his first competitive tournament since last June at the Brasil Open in Sao Paulo next month.

Rafael Nadal's publicist has confirmed that the Spaniard will make a competitive return to tennis at the Brasil Open in Sao Paulo next month.

The seven-time French Open champion has been out for more than eight months with tendinitis in his left knee and had attempts at an Australian Open comeback this week thwarted by a stomach virus.

Nadal's publicist Benito Perez-Barbadillo sent an email to AFP Madrid earlier today to confirm reports that he has accepted an invitation to play in the South American event.

He said: "Yes, Rafa will play in the Sao Paulo tournament in Brazil."

The 26-year-old begins his season at the event in just over three weeks' time, with the opening round scheduled to start on Monday, February 11.

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