Misc Tennis

Nadal Pumped to Partner Alcaraz in Olympics

"It Would Be Good Motivation"


 By Richard Pagliaro | @Tennis_Now | Sunday, April 28, 2024
Rafael Nadal’s right hand was working overtime in Madrid.

About an hour after Nadal knocked off Alex de Minaur 7-6(6), 6-3 on Saturday, he was a man in motion still giving back.

Rafa Nadal: Not Fully Fit For Madrid, Will Do Everything to Play Paris

The king of clay, a natural righty who plays tennis lefty, spent quite a while signing autographs and taking selfies with a swarm of fans.

In his farewell season, Nadal aims to fulfill fan fantasy in a big way this summer.

The king of clay confirmed he’s pumped to play alongside Carlos Alcaraz in a Spanish superstar doubles Dream Team at the Paris Olympic Games.

Alcaraz has repeatedly said it would be his “dream” to partner Nadal at the Games. Nadal says that dream will become reality if both men are healthy.

“Carlos doesn’t have to ask me anything, all things being well, we’ll play [Olympic doubles],” Nadal told Iguales, the official Mutua Madrid Open podcast. “It’s also hugely exciting for me. If I’m not mistaken, I’ve heard it is for him too.

“So it would be great to play the odd tournament before the Olympics to prepare ourselves and to get some rapport on court.”

Two-time Olympic gold-medal champion Nadal captured the singles gold medal at the 2008 Beijing Games defeating Lleyton Hewitt, Igor Andreev, Jurgen Melzer, Novak Djokovic and Chilean Fernando Gonzalez in the gold-medal match.

Eight years later, Nadal and good buddy Marc Lopez won the doubles gold at the Rio Olympics stopping Canadians Daniel Nestor and Vasek Pospisil in the semifinals before knocking off Romania’s Florin Mergea Horia Tecau in the gold-medal match. 

An Alcaraz-Nadal pairing would be the most compelling Olympic men’s doubles duo since Roger Federer and Stan Wawrinka partnered to claim the 2008 Olympic doubles gold medal. The Swiss squad had planned a reunion Dream Team pairing of Federer and former Hopman Cup partner Martina Hingis at the 2016 Games, but that Dream Team did not compete due to injury.

Two-time Grand Slam champion Alcaraz said striking gold is his top priority for the season.

In an interview with French newspaper Le Figaro, Alcaraz reiterated his main aim for the season: Win an Olympic gold medal.

“Grand Slam tournaments and Masters 1000 [events] are the priorities, but representing your country at the Games is a dream, so…

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