World number one Rafael Nadal is set to make his return from injury when the Rio Open commences early next week.

The Spaniard has not played since the Australian Open final, where he was beaten by Swiss player Stanislas Wawrinka in four sets.

Nadal has been drawn against Daniel Gimeno-Traver in the first round in Brazil.

He will be the number one seed for the tournament, with fellow countryman David Ferrer occupying the number two slot.

The Rio Open is a new event in both the ATP and WTA calendars, and for Nadal will be a first clay-court appearance of the season as he looks ahead to the French Open in May.

On participating in the new tournament, Nadal told the media ‘I am looking forward to playing for the first time ever in Rio de Janeiro.

‘I have heard so much about the city, and now I will finally have the opportunity to be there.’

The prize money for the ATP players stands at a mouthwatering $1.25million.

Nadal will take to Paris aiming to win a stunning ninth slam at Roland Garros, having only lost once (to Robin Soderling in 2009) since his first appearance in 2005.

If he is victorious in France it will draw him level for total Grand Slam titles with Pete Sampras on 14.

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