Tennis

Nadal, Alcaraz to play for Spain in Olympic doubles

Reuters

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Nadal, Alcaraz to play for Spain in Olympic doubles

SPANISH STAR POWER. Spain offers a blockbuster pairing in Carlos Alcaraz (left) and Rafael Nadal in the Paris Olympics.

REUTERS

Tennis legend Rafael Nadal and next gen star Carlos Alcaraz team up for Spain for the first time, linking up for the men’s doubles in the Paris Olympics in a court they both ‘know so well’

Spain’s Rafa Nadal and Carlos Alcaraz will team up to play doubles at this year’s Olympic Games in Paris, the Royal Spanish Tennis Federation (RFET) said on Wednesday, June 12.

Nadal won an Olympic gold medal in 2008, but the Paris Games will be Alcaraz’s first as he returns to Roland Garros where he was crowned French Open champion on Sunday, June 9.

Nadal’s participation was up in the air with the 14-time French Open champion still not at his best following injuries, but national team coach David Ferrer said the 38-year-old would team up with 21-year-old Alcaraz.

“One pair, which I think everyone knows and was hoping for is Carlos Alcaraz and Rafael Nadal and the second pair is yet to be decided, it hasn’t been 100% confirmed yet,” Ferrer told reporters.

“We’ll wait a bit before announcing that. But Rafa and Carlos will be playing together in Paris.”

“We have a great team and we are going to play at Roland Garros, the court that Nadal and Alcaraz know so well. We hope to bring joy to Spanish sport.”

The other players selected are Pablo Carreno Busta and Alejandro Davidovich Fokina while Marcel Granollers, who is ranked world No. 2 in doubles, is also in the squad.

The Paris Olympics runs from July 26-August 11.

Nadal to skip Wimbledon

Nadal said he will skip Wimbledon in July in order to prepare for the Olympics.

Nadal has been far from his best after returning from injuries and he exited the tournament at Roland Garros in the first round this year, losing in straight sets to eventual runner-up Alexander Zverev.

The 38-year-old missed almost all of 2023 with a hip problem and his comeback earlier this year was stalled by a muscle tear, before small niggles affected his preparation for the clay court major.

“During my post match press conference at Roland Garros I was asked about my summer calendar and since then I have been practicing on clay. It was announced yesterday that I will play at the summer Olympics in Paris, my last Olympics,” Nadal said.

“With this goal, we believe that the best for my body is not to change surface and keep playing on clay until then. It’s for this reason that I will miss playing at the championships this year at Wimbledon.

“I am saddened not to be able to live this year the great atmosphere of that amazing event that will always be in my heart, and be with all the British fans that always gave me great support. I will miss you all,” said Nadal, a twice-champion at Wimbledon.

Nadal, who won an Olympic singles gold medal in 2008 and a doubles gold in 2016,  said he would continue his preparations for the Olympics by playing in the ATP 250 clay court event in Bastad, Sweden that will be played from July 15. – Rappler.com

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