Nadal, Alcaraz to play doubles for Spain at Paris Olympics

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.
Rafael Nadal and Carlos Alcaraz
Rafael Nadal and Carlos AlcarazPhoto | AP

MADRID: Rafael Nadal and Carlos Alcaraz will play doubles together for Spain at the upcoming Paris Olympics, the Spanish tennis federation said 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 other Spain players in the men's Olympic team will be Pablo Carreño Busta, Alejandro Davidovich and Marcel Granollers.

Captain Anabel Medina picked No. 55 Sara Sorribes Tormo and No. 67 Cristina Bucsa — the top-ranked Spanish players — for the women's team, with Paula Badosa deciding not to compete as she only has two more events to play while using her protected ranking.

Rafael Nadal and Carlos Alcaraz
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