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Rafael Nadal aims for strong Rio return

Rio de Janeiro: World number one Rafael Nadal will top the bill at next week's inaugural Rio Open as he returns from the back injury that wrecked his Australian Open title assault.

Rafael Nadal trains ahead of the ATP Rio Open 2014.  Pic/Getty Images
Rafael Nadal trains ahead of the ATP Rio Open 2014. Pic/Getty Images 

The Spanish star, denied a 14th Grand Slam title in Melbourne by Stanislas Wawrinka, will be the biggest draw for what is South America's only combined ATP World Tour 500 and WTA International event.

For Nadal, forced to skip Buenos Aires last week as he returns to full fitness, the tournament is an early stepping stone in a claycourt season.

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