Rafael Nadal was handed a dream start to his comeback tournament after drawing a qualifier Saturday in the opening round of the Brisbane International.

The 37-year-old Spaniard has been out of the game for almost 12 months following hip surgery after the 2023 Australian Open in January.

It was feared that Nadal, the winner of 22 Grand Slam singles titles, would never play professionally again.

However, he has fought his way back and was granted a wildcard to the season-opening Brisbane International in preparation for the first Grand Slam of the year at Melbourne Park in January.

Whether he takes to the court on Sunday or Monday is still to be determined, with the order of play not yet released.

Britain's Andy Murray drew second-seeded Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov in an intriguing first-round clash.

Murray is a two-time winner of the Brisbane International, and beat Dimitrov in the final in 2013.

In the women's draw, four-time Grand Slam champion Naomi Osaka will be pitted against Germany's world number 84 Tamara Korpatsch in the opening round as she makes her highly anticipated return.

The Japanese star, who gave birth to daughter Shai in July and has previously struggled with her mental health, has not played since September 2022.

If she sees off Korpatsch, she will face three-time Brisbane champion Karolina Pliskova in the second round.