Miami, FL, USA, 18 March 2014 | tennis.com.au

Bernard Tomic will return to tennis at the Sony Open in Miami following an eight-week absence due to hip surgery.

The Australian No.4 will be joined in the draw at the combined ATP-WTA hardcourt event in Florida by compatriots Lleyton Hewitt, Matt Ebden and Marinko Matosevic.

Sam Stosur and Casey Dellacqua are flying the Aussie flag in the women’s singles.

Tomic has not played since withdrawing from his opening round Australian Open match against Rafael Nadal in mid-January; the week after that result he went under the knife, and in the past few weeks had been easing into training with the aim of returning to action at the Monte Carlo Masters in April.

Yet back on court sooner than anticipated, he will take on Finn Jarkko Nieminen in his first round match at the Sony Open, with the winner booking a date with 22nd seed and last week’s Indian Wells semifinals Alexandr Dolgopolov.

It’s a similarly tough draw for the other Aussies in the draw.

Hewitt will take on Dutchman Robin Haase, and should he progress he will face top seed Rafael Nadal in the last 64.

Ebden faces a second round clash with No.6 seed and two-time Miami champion Andy Murray should he get past Pole Lukasz Kubot in the first round, while Matosevic will tackle No.20 seed Kei Nishikori in round two ┬áif he comes through his opening round stoush with Colombia’s Alejandro Falla.