Spanish tennis star Rafael Nadal confirmed that he plans to play in the hard-court tournament that begins on Monday in Indian Wells, California.
The Spanish star said the event in the Southern California desert was one of his favorites.
“I love it and I look forward to competing,” Nadal said.
The March 4-17 BNP Paribas Open at Indian Wells is one of the tennis season’s nine ATP World Tour Masters 1000 events, which rank only below the four Grand Slam tournaments and the season-ending ATP World Tour Finals in terms of ranking points and prestige.
The Spanish star, who won the Mexican Open over the weekend, also confirmed that he planned to play in an exhibition on Monday at New York’s Madison Square Garden along with Argentina’s Juan Martin del Potro.
“The exhibition in New York will help me get on a hard court before the Masters in Indian Wells and I’ll go there after that,” Nadal said.
The 26-year-old Nadal, an 11-time Grand Slam champion, is on the comeback trail from a knee injury that sidelined him for seven months.
Nadal began last summer on a high note by capturing a record 7th French Open title with a victory over world No. 1 Novak Djokovic of Serbia in the final, but he went off the ATP Tour following a shocking second-round loss at Wimbledon.
The Spanish star said in August that he was suffering from a knee ailment known as Hoffa’s syndrome, which is also known as fat pad impingement and involves pain and swelling around the bottom and under the kneecap.