WORLD NUMBER 2 ANDY MURRAY JOINS NADAL AT THE 2018 BRISBANE INTERNATIONAL

WORLD NUMBER 2 ANDY MURRAY JOINS NADAL AT THE 2018 BRISBANE INTERNATIONAL

Three-time grand slam tennis champion and world number two Andy Murray will start 2018 at the Brisbane International.

The 30-year-old Scot plans to start his next three years in Australia as part of a long term partnership with Tennis Australia to help promote the sport.

Murray confirmed today he would take some time off to get healthy.

"I need to take some time to rest my body and I look forward to playing the Brisbane International in January," Murray says.

"Starting the year in Australia sets you up in the best possible way for a strong season and I'm excited to start my next three there.

"I love coming to Australia and the Brisbane tournament always has a strong field. I'm confident it will help me prepare for the Australian Open," Murray added.

The announcement is a major coup for the Suncorp sponsored tournament which will now see the world's top two men compete at the event for the first time.

New world number one Rafael Nadal of Spain confirmed his return to the Sunshine State last month.

Murray's previous tilts in Brisbane have kick started several successful seasons and a number of career highlights.

He won back-to-back Brisbane International titles in 2012 and 2013, and went on to claim gold at the London 2012 Olympics and win his first Grand Slam title at the US Open.

Since then, Murray has captured 45 career singles titles in total, including an additional two Wimbledon trophies, a Davis Cup crown and his second Olympic gold at Rio in 2016.

Brisbane International Tournament Director Geoff Quinlan is pleased Murray and Nadal have committed early to the event and anticipates this to be the beginning of an exceptionally strong field.

"We are delighted Andy, a past champion, has chosen to start 2018 at the Brisbane International," Quinlan says.

"Next year will mark the 10th edition of the tournament and what better way to celebrate by featuring the top two men in the world, we couldn't be more pleased."

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said high calibre sporting events like the Brisbane International inspires visitors to experience the best address on earth, Queensland.

"It's fantastic news Andy has chosen the Brisbane International to start his 2018 campaign," Palaszczuk says.

"To have secured the top two male tennis players in the world for the Brisbane International is a significant tourism coup for Queensland, reinforcing our international reputation as a premier sporting event destination.

"This event will form part of a sensational year on the It's Live! in Queensland calendar, delivering on Tourism and Events Queensland's aim to deliver the best live events in the best destinations."

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