February 20, 2024

Open Court


Nadal and Fognini hit the IW practice court (video)

INDIAN WELLS, Calif. – For a fellow who was undecided about playing Indian Wells, Fabio Fognini has put in plenty of practice time the last few days.

On Tuesday, he had a day session and a brief one in the evening.

Wednesday, he hit the main stadium with Rafael Nadal at 10 a.m., before another session in the afternoon at 1 p.m.

For Nadal, the Acapulco event didn’t quite go as planned, as the No. 1 seed lost a fairly dramatic match to Nick Kyrgios in which he did everything right BUT win.

Kyrgios, of course, went on to win the tournament.

By Friday, Nadal was already in the desert.

Early matchups for Nadal and Fognini

Reports were that Nadal had considered skipping Acapulco entirely because of some issues with his left wrist. So given that, and given he hadn’t played a match since losing to Novak Djokovic in the Australian Open final, he played fairly well.

There have been reports out there that Nadal might skip Miami and even Madrid (his least favorite clay-court tournament, although it is in his home country) to lighten the load. We’ll see what happens.

Here are some pics from this morning’s practice.

Meanwhile, after his first-round bye, the Mallorcan will play the winner of wild card Jared Donaldson or a qualifier in his Indian Wells opener. The first seed he could meet is No. 25 Diego Schwartzman.

As for Fognini, he gets either Romania’s Marius Copil or a qualifier. Beyond that, he could face Oracle Challenger champion Kyle Edmund or perhaps Frances Tiafoe.

And, after all, Fognini will play doubles with Novak Djokovic.

They drew Canadian Milos Raonic and France’s Jérémy Chardy in the first round. 

Nadal, who has often played doubles in the desert in the past, is passing this year.

Bug killin’ Nadal?

At one point in the practice, it looked as though Nadal committed bug-icide.


It’s not quite clear what was going on over there. But we’d like to think that the very large insect was close to expiration with no hope of rallying, after Dr. Nadal examined it closely.

And Nadal merely used his sports drink bottle to put the poor thing out of its misery.

And you thought those bottles were just for arranging.

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