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Rafael Nadal hails Indian Wells supremo Larry Ellison

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Rafa Nadal says Indian Wells seems to improve year after year,

Rafael Nadal has lavished praise on Indian Wells owner and multi-billionaire Larry Ellison for making the event the best on the ATP circuit.

Long-time tennis fan and Oracle CEO and co-founder Ellison purchased the tournament for a reported $100 million in December 2009.

The 77-year-old, whose net worth is reportedly $56.2 billion, has upgraded the BNP Paribas Open and turned it into 'the unofficial fifth Grand Slam' as well as the most attended tennis tournament in the world outside of the four majors.

Larry Ellison watches as Lleyton Hewitt play Matthew Ebden during the BNP Paribas Open at Indian Wells
Image: Larry Ellison: The multi-billionaire has poured money into Indian Wells

Nadal will be bidding for a fourth Indian Wells championship after securing titles in 2007, 2009 and 2013 and the Spaniard admits it's a joy to come back to the Californian desert.

"It's true that not everybody has the possibility to do the things that's he's doing for this tournament, but it's the tournament with more courts for practice, a lot of stadiums for the matches and HawkEye on almost every court," Nadal told Sky Sports.

"Every year there is something new and something better, which is just great and for sure the tournament deserves and he deserves to be named the best tournament.

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"Masters 1000s are very important events for us. It's the tournament that everybody wants to play, everybody wants to have good results and it's the tournament that makes the difference on the rankings at the end of the season."

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