Watch: Rafael Nadal practices with familiar face ahead of Netflix Slam, Indian Wells

Nadal's Indian Wells preparation seems to be going as planned.

by Dzevad Mesic
Watch: Rafael Nadal practices with familiar face ahead of Netflix Slam, Indian Wells
© Getty Images Sport - Clive Brunskill

Rafael Nadal continues his preparation for his comeback and the Indian Wells Masters as this weekend the 22-time Grand Slam champion had a long practice session with his old rival Grigor Dimitrov. 

Although the Indian Wells Masters is starting just on March 6th, Nadal has been in the desert for over a week now as he arrived in the United States early because he has an exhibition match scheduled but also because he wanted to give himself time to prepare well for the tournament and adapt to the conditions. 

After practicing in Indian Wells throughout the week, Nadal was also spotted practicing with Dimitrov. The practice came just before Nadal's Netflix Slam exhibition against Carlos Alcaraz, scheduled for Sunday in Las Vegas. 

Nadal recovers from an early setback

After appearing in just two tournaments last year due to hip injury and surgery, Nadal made his long-awaited return at the Brisbane International, where he started with two wins before sustaining an unfortunate left leg injury. When the scan results came, the 37-year-old Spaniard announced that he was diagnosed with "a micro tear" on a muscle. 

Two months later, Nadal has returned to being fully healthy and his muscle tear injury is a thing of the past. Now, Nadal is set to continue his 2024 comeback journey in Indian Wells, where he will be making his 16th main draw appearance. 

Rafael Nadal
Rafael Nadal© Getty Images Sport - Clive Brunskill

Throughout his career, Nadal has enjoyed success in Indian Wells as he has had several deep runs at the tournament. Most notably, Nadal has appeared in five finals in Indian Wells and he has three titles at the tournament. Also, Nadal exited Indian Wells in the semifinal stage six times in his career. 

But when it comes to Nadal's 2024 Indian Wells campaign, there is no doubt that Nadal's main priority will be to stay healthy and at least be competitive after contracting an injury early in the season and missing the last two months.

Rafael Nadal Indian Wells