Nadal to start season in Brisbane

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World number five Rafael Nadal will for the first time begin his season in Australia after agreeing to play the Brisbane International.

The Spanish 14-time grand-slam champion has usually opted for Doha to start his year, but will begin 2017 in Brisbane.

Nadal's presence is a boost for the ATP 250 event, which had Roger Federer this year but the Swiss has decided to compete at the Hopman Cup.

"It's going to be the first time in my career that I'm going to play in Australia the first week of the season and I'm really excited about it," he said.

"I think this is something I have to do during my career and I think at the same time it's going to be a great preparation to be in Australia early.

"Everybody who has been in Brisbane has told me very beautiful things about the tournament and the place so I want to try it."