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Rafael Nadal Indian Wells 2022

Rafael Nadal’s Indian Wells opponent revealed as former Wimbledon finalist


Rafael Nadal will play former world No.3 Milos Raonic in the first round of Indian Wells, as he bids to return to the ATP Tour once again.

Nadal spent almost a year out of action after suffering a serious psoas tear at the 2023 Australian Open, returning at the Brisbane International in January.

The 22-time Grand Slam champion reached the quarter-finals at the ATP 250 event, before facing a setback in his defeat to Jordan Thompson.

In this defeat Nadal picked up a ‘micro tear’ that forced him to withdraw from the first major of 2024, but the Spaniard is now ready to return at the tournament he has won on three previous occasions.

And Nadal has drawn against 33-year-old Raonic, who has had many injury struggles of his own in recent years that pushed the Canadian down to as low as No.849 in the world last year.

Raonic and Nadal have played each other on 10 previous occasions, with the latter leading the head-to-head 8-2.

However, their only matchup at Indian Wells came in the 2015 quarter-finals, with Raonic saving three match points to beat Nadal.

The winner of Nadal and Raonic, that takes place on Thursday 7th March, will go onto play seventh seed Holger Rune.

Inside the baseline…

It is going to be a very challenging first round match for Rafael Nadal, with Milos Raonic’s serve sometimes impossible to deal with. However, it will be a good test for the former No.1, who if he can get the Canadian moving should have the advantage – with there likely to be a lot of eyes on the fitness and wellbeing of both players. It won’t get any easier if Nadal is to win that, with a mouth-watering potential matchup against Holger Rune.


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Rafael Nadal and other popcorn matches from the Indian Wells draw 

Nadal taking on Raonic is not the only match that has caught the eye from the Indian Wells draw, so we have put together a list of the matches we are most excited for:

ATP

First Round:

Stan Wawrinka vs Tomas Machac

Lorenzo Sonego vs Miomir Kecmanovic

Dan Evans vs Roman Safiullin

Denis Shapovalov vs Botic van de Zandschulp

Potential Second Round Matches:

Carlos Alcaraz (2) vs Matteo Arnaldi

Andrey Rublev (5) vs Andy Murray

Alexander Zverev (6) vs Jack Draper

Holger Rune (7) vs Rafael Nadal (PR)

Ben Shelton (16) vs Jakub Mensik (WC)

WTA

First Round:

Katie Boulter vs Camila Giorgi

Angelique Kerber vs Petra Martic

Potential Second Round Matches:

Iga Swiatek (1) vs Danielle Collins

Elena Rybakina (4) vs Paula Badosa (WC)

Jessica Pegula (5) vs Karolina Pliskova (WC)

Ons Jabeur (6) vs Mirra Andreeva

Jelena Ostapenko (10) vs Angelique Kerber (PR)

Liudmila Samsonova (14) vs Naomi Osaka (PR)

Veronika Kudermetova (17) vs Venus Williams (WC)

Donna Vekic (25) vs Caroline Wozniacki

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Matthew Johns, Tennishead Writer, is a professional tennis journalist with a specialist degree in Sports Journalism. He's a keen tennis player having represented his local club and University plus he's also a qualified tennis coach. Matthew has a deep knowledge of tennis especially the ATP Tour and thrives on breaking big tennis news stories for Tennishead.