Tennis: Alcaraz wants to play 'dream' doubles with Nadal at Paris Olympics

AFP , Friday 26 May 2023

Carlos Alcaraz wants to play alongside Rafael Nadal in a formidable and "dream" doubles team at the 2024 Olympics.

Alcaraz   Nadal
Rafael Nadal shakes hands with Carlos Alcaraz after their Madrid Open quarter-final in 2022. Photo: AFP


Alcaraz has yet to feature at the Olympics while Nadal won a gold medal in singles in Beijing in 2008 and doubles gold in Rio eight years later.

For world number one Alcaraz, playing with Nadal at the Paris Games would be a perfect farewell as the veteran winds down his career.

"For me, it could be a dream playing doubles with him in the Olympics," said 20-year-old Alcaraz on Friday.

"Let's see how he's doing and how he's going this year. Hopefully he's going great."

Nadal, a 22-time major winner, is absent from the French Open which starts on Sunday with a hip injury. The soon-to-be 37-year-old has already said that 2024 will likely be his last year in the sport.

Alcaraz is now one of the favourites for the Paris title which his compatriot has swept up 14 times.

"I felt bad when I heard that Rafa was not able to play here in Roland Garros and probably the rest of the year," said Alcaraz.

"As a fan of tennis, I always watched Rafa playing. I always want to watch the best players in the world playing the tournaments."

"It was tough to understand how it's going to be without Rafa this year. Hopefully we'll see him next year and that he's 100 percent."

Women's world number one and defending champion Iga Swiatek also hoped that Nadal would return in 2024 for a career swansong.

"I don't want to focus on statistics or what he could achieve by playing here this year," said the Pole.

"For me, the most important thing is if he's just healthy and happy. Hopefully he's going to play next season and feel better. That's the most important thing for me."

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