Melbourne VIC, Australia, 20 April 2017 |

Having played just one competitive singles match in the past 18 months, Thanasi Kokkinakis appears set for a return to action.

The popular South Australian – whose first-round singles loss at Rio 2016 is his only singles outing since October 2015 as he deals with the lingering affects of a shoulder injury – is targeting a return at the Madrid Masters.

“That’s the plan, that’s the aim,” Kokkinakis told The Herald Sun.

“It’s been a tough run. It’s just a matter of getting the confidence back in the body and it’s been tricky mentally dealing with everything.

“I need matches and as soon as I’m ready to go, I want to be able to play which is why we’ve come to Dubai.”

Kokkinakis, 21, is training Dubai and will reportedly head to Nice, France before embarking on his qualifying campaign in Madrid using a protected ranking.

In January, Kokkinakis made a promising return to the court in Brisbane in January, teaming with fellow Aussie Jordan Thompson to win the doubles title.

Yet he promptly withdrew from Sydney and then the Australian Open, careful not to rush a singles comeback.

The former world No.69 has shown strong instincts for clay, reaching the third round at Roland Garros in 2015.