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Rafael Nadal keen on Olympic doubles with Carlos Alcaraz

Rafael Nadal, Carlos Alcaraz

MADRID, SPAIN - MAY 06: Rafael Nadal of Spain and Carlos Alcaraz of Spain interact prior to their Men’s Singles match on day nine of the Mutua Madrid Open the Mutua Madrid Open at La Caja Magica on May 06, 2022 in Madrid, Spain. (Photo by Mateo Villalba/Quality Sport Images/Getty Images)

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Rafael Nadal shares Carlos Alcaraz’s desire — to some extent — to play doubles together at what would be Nadal’s last Olympics in Paris in 2024.

Nadal said Tuesday that he has not talked to Alcaraz about teaming up for the Paris Games, but that he would like to and that it would be a motivator going into what will likely be his last season before retirement, according to Spanish newspaper AS.

The 2024 Olympic tennis competition will be held at Roland Garros, where Nadal has won a record 14 French Open titles dating to 2005.

Nadal, 37, said in May that he will likely retire in the second half of 2024. He is planning to return next season from a left hip flexor injury that sidelined him from competition since January’s Australian Open. He had surgery in June.

Nadal is a noted Olympic lover. He competed at three Games, won gold in singles (2008) and doubles (2016 with Marc López) and carried the Spanish flag at the Opening Ceremony (2016).

After Nadal announced a likely 2024 farewell, the 2022 U.S. Open champion Alcaraz said later in May that “it could be a dream” to play 2024 Olympic doubles with Nadal.

The last time two men who previously won a Grand Slam singles title played Olympic doubles together was in 2000 when Russians Yevgeny Kafelnikov and Marat Safin did so.

Nadal, then 18, played doubles in his Olympic debut in 2004 with 1998 French Open champion Carlos Moya, one year before Nadal won his first of 22 Grand Slam singles titles. Moya is now Nadal’s coach.