Great Britain's Andy Murray during the quarter-finals of Wimbledon this year.
Great Britain's Andy Murray during the quarter-finals of Wimbledon this year. Norikazu Sasaki

Murray to join Nadal at Brisbane International

ANDY Murray has given the Brisbane International men's field an irresistible one-two punch by agreeing to return to the event next summer for the first time in five years.

Murray has chosen Brisbane to launch his 2018 campaign rather than the richer ATP Doha tournament he has played in recent years.

The five-time Australian Open runner-up's choice of Brisbane as lead-in tournament is a change of tack by the three-time major winner to finally conquer Melbourne Park.

The former dual Wimbledon champion did not play at the US Open due to a hip injury, which clouds his schedule for the rest of 2017.

Murray, 30, will drop one spot in the rankings to No.3 next week and joins top-ranked Rafael Nadal in Brisbane.

Murray was the 2012 and 2013 Brisbane International champion.

The London-based right-hander said he would miss two more tournaments, in China next month, and possibly also two more in Vienna and Paris after that, before the season ends.

"Although it has been a frustrating year for me, I am confident with rest and rehabilitation I will be able to compete again for grand slam titles next year," Murray said.

"I will be beginning my 2018 season in Brisbane and preparing for the Australian Open.

"Starting the year in Australia sets you up in the best possible way for a strong season and I'm excited."

Murray started 2017 as the world's No.1 player, taking the mantle for the first time in late 2016 under the weight of tournament wins including his second Wimbledon win.

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

"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."

The Brisbane International will run from December 31 to January 7.