Rafael Nadal has confirmed he will play Barcelona this year, and David Ferrer has urged fans to make sure they appreciate him.
Nadal has not played since losing to Stefanos Tsitsipas in the Australian Open quarterfinal last month.
He was offered a wild card for Dubai and then pulled out of Miami, insisting he needed to concentrate on his clay court preparations instead.
Nadal is expected to play Monte-Carlo, Madrid, and Rome before the French Open, and Barcelona can now be added to that list.
“Rafa’s presence in Barcelona is very important for the tournament and it will be even more so after the cancellation of last year’s edition,” tournament director Ferrer said.
“What Rafael Nadal has done throughout his career is something amazing and unique.
“We must explain to all the fans that what we have seen with this player is not going to be repeated.
“Rafa is a legend of this sport and we have to enjoy him while we can.”
Barcelona is scheduled for 17-25 April and was won last time, in 2019, by Dominic Thiem.
Nadal lost to Thiem in the semi-finals that year, but he is the most successful player in the tournament’s history with 11 titles to his name.
For more exclusive content from Tennisbuzz, including news, features, trivia, promotions and more, please be sure to sign up for our newsletter below or via our home page.
Why not test your tennis knowledge by tackling one of our fiendish quizzes too?