Indian Wells 2024: Rafael Nadal Takes to the Centre Court for an Intense Hitting Session With Dimitrov

Published 03/02/2024, 8:16 PM EST

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via Reuters

With the tournament approaching quickly, multiple videos of Rafael Nadal practicing at the Indian Well Tennis Garden have surfaced online. As the tournament is fast approaching, videos of other players can also be seen flooding the internet. With the roaster, these stacked, explosive matchups are guaranteed.

One such player is Rafa’s long-time close friend and currently ranked 13, Grigor Dimitrov. In a recent video that surfaced online, Rafa can be seen practicing with Grigor Dimitrov in the centre court.

Rafael Nadal and Grigor Dimitrov Sweat It Out


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In this video, Nadal can be seen playing his trademark baseline groundstrokes and also practicing at the net with Dimitrov. This video of Rafa is especially poignant, keeping in mind his haunting injuries. He seems to be hitting the ball with great form, and his movement seems impeccable, putting to rest all the doubts about his fitness.



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Grigor Dimitrov, on the other hand, can also be seen sweating it out and giving the final touches to his game at the centre court with Rafael Nadal, both getting into the groove of the tournament.

Nadal has stayed out of the game for quite some time now, and he needed to arrive early and get his winning rhythm going. More so with this being a hard court and the quality of players that are turning up, especially his frenemy rival, Novak Djokovic. With the Serb’s 98 career titles against Nadal’s 92, those around Rafa have indicated that he might want to close in on him if not surpass him this year. The Serb is just 2 grand slam titles ahead of Rafa.

Read More: ‘I Am Very Very Happy for You’- Grigor Dimitrov Connects Over a Video Call to Congratulate Rafael Nadal

With a difficult goal in front of him and against such formidable opponents, Rafael Nadal needs all the practice he can get. However, who better than his friend Grigor Dimitrov to get him locked and loaded? Their friendship goes back a long time, and this isn’t the first time they can be seen practicing together before a tournament either.

Rafael Nadal Between Tennis and Friendship 

In 2022, right in the middle of his injury-prone phase, the Spaniard was spotted practicing with the Bulgarian for the Melbourn Summer Set. The video, similar to the recent one, shows both players going hard at Melbourne Park. They share a great relationship, and Dimitrov has even visited Nadal’s hometown, Mallorca.

When asked in an interview about their time in Mallorca, Rafael Nadal said, “We have been in Mallorca together. We go out in the boat and catch some fishes. Tennis is not forever but the friendship is.


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Despite having a good bond outside the court, the players have a rivalry when they are on it against each other. The two have met each other 14 times in their careers, out of which 13 times the outcome has been in favor of Rafa. Grigor Dimitrov’s only win over Nadal came at the China Open in 2016 when he defeated the Spaniard to make the Beijing semifinal.

The 2024 edition of the Indian Wells Masters Open will start on March 3 with the qualifying rounds, and the main draw is scheduled to begin on March 6. The draw ceremony for the California event is set to be held on March 4.


Written by:

Anubhav Bhandari


One take at a time

Anubhav Bhandari is a Tennis writer at EssentiallySports. With a Bachelor's degree in Journalism and Mass Communication, Anubhav skillfully arranges words to craft intriguing lines and weaves diverse sentences into compelling stories. Blending his sporting experience with storytelling prowess, he produces articles that resonate with readers.
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Edited by:

Shivali Nathta