Carlos Alcaraz’s ‘dream’ to play Olympic doubles with Rafael Nadal
Carlos Alcaraz said it would be a dream to play 2024 Olympic doubles with Rafael Nadal in what will likely be Nadal’s last time playing at Roland Garros in Paris.
“It could be a dream playing doubles with him in the Olympics,” Alcaraz said Friday. “So of course let’s see. Let’s see how he’s doing and how he’s going in this year. Hopefully, he’s going great. But yeah, for me, it could be a dream to play doubles with him.”
Alcaraz, the 20-year-old, top-ranked Spaniard, made the comments before French Open main draw play begins Sunday, live on Peacock.
Nadal, the record 14-time French Open champion, said last week he will not play the tournament for the first time since 2004, citing a hip injury that has sidelined him since January. The 36-year-old said that he will likely retire after the 2024 season, and that he hopes to play at Roland Garros both for next spring’s French Open and next summer’s Olympics.
Olympic qualification is more selective for singles than doubles. A nation can qualify no more than four singles players per gender, taken from the ATP and WTA rankings after next year’s French Open.
There is a possibility that Nadal is not ranked high enough in singles to qualify directly for the Olympics, but there is leeway to select any players for doubles only, as long as they are ranked in the top 300 in singles or doubles.
Nadal began his Olympic career at age 18 in 2004 by playing doubles with 1998 French Open champion Carlos Moya, who is now his coach. He then played with Tommy Robredo in 2008, then took gold in 2016 with Marc López (when he also played mixed doubles with Garbiñe Muguruza).
The world’s top singles players often also play doubles and/or mixed doubles at the Olympics. Venus and Serena Williams won three Olympic titles together. Other notable teams included Pete Sampras and Jim Courier in 1992 and Roger Federer and Stan Wawrinka in 2008 (gold) and 2012.
Federer was to play Olympic mixed doubles with Martina Hingis in 2016, but he withdrew before the Games with a knee injury.
NBC Sports’ Andy Dougherty contributed to this report from Paris.
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