ATP Barcelona director Albert Costa has confirmed that Grigor Dimitrov will join Rafael Nadal as the second big hitter to play in the tournament this April.

Dimitrov is well acquainted with the tournament, having made his debut in 2008 in the qualifying draw, before making it in the 2011 and 2013 main draws, where he lost to Juan Monaco and Tommy Robredo, respectively.

The 26-year-old notably had a great second half of the season in 2017 that saw him win his first Masters 1000 title in Cincinnati in addition to the ATP Finals, which he credited to practising with world number one Rafael Nadal.

The Bulgarian has a rough schedule to meander through in the coming year, where apart from the ATP Masters 1000s events and Grand Slams, he has also enrolled himself into Brisbane, Sofia, Rotterdam at the moment.

"For the next year's tournament it's fantastic that we got the confirmation of such a very talented player like Dimitrov," Costa said, as quoted by Tennis World USA. "Definitely, Grigor was the best player in the last part of the season, playing a high tennis level in London."

However, all eyes will be on Nadal, who will be making his 14th appearance in the tournament, having won it a record 10 times.

It will be an emotional moment for the Spaniard, who has been awarded the Conde de Godo trophy for winning the tournament a record ten times. 2018 will start the dawn of a new era for Nadal, coming on the back of what has been his best season in years.

The Spaniard has won six titles in 2017, which include two Grand Slams – the French and the US Open – and capped by the year by confirming his place as the year-end world number one for the fourth time in his career.

This season has been one to cherish for Nadal, his best after 2013 when he won 10 titles and he looks to carry on in 2018 where he left off.

Rafael Nadal and Grigor Dimitrov
Dimitrov trained with Nadal during the summer in Mallorca Getty