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  • Rafa Nadal Gives Thumbs Up To Carlos Alcaraz Partnership At Paris Olympics

Rafa Nadal gives thumbs up to Carlos Alcaraz partnership at Paris Olympics

Rafael Nadal says he is totally on board with teaming up with fellow Spaniard Carlos Alcaraz at the Paris Olympics this year.

The 22-time singles Grand Slam champion said he hoped they could participate in some doubles tournaments leading up to the Games.

Alcaraz, currently ranked third in the world, had previously expressed his desire to partner with his 37-year-old idol at the Olympics. Nadal, who anticipates retiring from his illustrious but injury-affected career this year, welcomed the idea.

During their participation at the Madrid Open this week, the 20-year-old admitted feeling somewhat nervous about broaching the topic, but Nadal reassured him, putting him at ease.

"Carlos doesn't have to ask me anything, all things being well, we'll play," Nadal said during the IGUALES 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."

Alcaraz is poised to make his Olympic debut in the upcoming Games, which take place from July 26 to August 11, while Nadal will be aiming for his third gold medal. 

Nadal previously clinched gold in singles at the 2008 Beijing Games and in doubles eight years later in Rio.

However, Nadal has faced significant challenges with injuries in recent years, particularly missing almost the entirety of 2023 due to a hip issue that required surgery. Although he made a comeback in Brisbane in January, another setback with a thigh problem sidelined him once again. He only returned to competition last week in Barcelona, raising doubts about his participation in the upcoming French Open next month.

The tennis events at the Paris Games will be held on clay at Roland Garros, a venue where Nadal has claimed a record 14 major titles.

"I think if we're both fit enough, why not? We could have the chance to form a great team and aspire to great things," Nadal added.

"It would be good for both of us. It would also be good for the Spanish team, so we'll see how things progress."

Nadal is due to face Australian 10th seed Alex de Minaur in Madrid on Saturday, a tournament he has won five times in the past. 

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