16th July 2024
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Rafael Nadal and Carlos Alcaraz to play doubles together at the Paris Olympics

Rafael Nadal and Carlos Alcaraz are to play doubles together for Spain at this summer’s Paris Olympics, the Spanish Tennis Federation (REFET) said on Wednesday.

The announcement comes three days after the 21-year-old Alcaraz won the French Open for the first time — earning his third Grand Slam trophy.

The same courts used for the French Open each year will host Olympic tennis. Nadal has won the French Open a record 14 times.

Alcaraz, who will play in his first Olympics, is widely seen as the heir to Nadal in Spanish tennis, and has frequently remarked that Nadal was his childhood hero.

‘Rafa and Carlos will be playing together in Paris,’ said Spain captain David Ferrer while announcing the squad.

Alcaraz has set winning an Olympic medal for Spain as one of his top career goals. He said after winning at Roland Garros that this year he would prefer a gold medal at the Paris Olympics over successfully defending his Wimbledon title.

‘The Olympic Games are every four years and it’s a special tournament where you’re not only playing for yourself, but for a country, representing every Spaniard,’ the No. 2-ranked Alcaraz said. ‘I think this year I’d choose Olympic gold.’

The 38-year-old Nadal, who will also play singles, already owns Olympic gold medals in singles (2008) and doubles (2016 with Marc López) to go alongside his 22 Grand Slam titles.

Nadal, who lost to Alexander Zverev in the first round at Roland Garros this year, said this is likely his last year on tour after a series of injuries.

The Spanish men’s squad is completed by world number 32 Alejandro Davidovich Fokina, Pablo Carreño and number two-ranked doubles player Marcel Granollers.

On the women’s side, Spanish number one Sara Sorribes and world number 67 Cristina Bucsa have been included in the team.

Injury-plagued former world number two Paula Badosa – now ranked 118 – will not be included in the squad for Paris.

‘We have the chance of winning two or three medals (at the Olympics),’ said RFET president Miguel Díaz Roman.

All national federations must produce their final list for the Games by 19 June at the latest. The Paris Olympics will take place from 26 July until 11 August.

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