Rafael Nadal news: Australian Open champion returning to Indian Wells for tennis (and golf)

Rafael Nadal pointing

Rafael Nadal will make his return to Indian Wells this year with the Australian Open champion confirming he will play at the BNP Paribas Open.

Following his injury-disrupted 2021 campaign, Nadal made a brilliant start to this season as he won the Melbourne Summer Set title and followed it up with a second Australian Open title.

On the back of his successful campaign at Melbourne Park that saw him become the first man to win 21st Grand Slam titles in the Open Era, the Spaniard raised doubts about his participation in the Mexican Open and Indian Wells Masters.

“I signed up for Acapulco and Indian Wells, but I have to make a decision that is in accordance with what my body allows me to do,” he said after returning home.

However, BNP Paribas Open organisers have confirmed his entry for this year’s ATP Masters 1000 event in California.

“For me, it will be even more special returning this year after missing the tournament in October [last year]. See you soon in the tennis (and golf) paradise, Indian Wells,” the world No 5 said in a statement.

The 35-year-old will no doubt spend some time on the golf course in Indian Wells as in the past he has played several rounds while competing in the tennis event.

Nadal is a three-time Indian Wells champion having won the title in 2007, 2009 and 2013, but he missed last year’s edition due to injury while there was no tournament in 2020 because of the coronavirus.

He last featured in the California event in 2019 when he reached the semi-finals only to withdraw hours before he was due to take on Roger Federer.

The 2022 BNP Paribas Open will run from March 7-14 at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden.