APRIL 21 - MAY 4, 2025

Nadal gives Alcaraz the nod for the Olympics

The Balearic Islander spoke of his excitement of competing at Paris 2024 with the Murcia native

Who wouldn’t want to see Rafael Nadal and Carlos Alcaraz form a team at the Olympic Games? The response from tennis lovers around the world would surely be unanimous; they would love it. The Spaniards, even more so. The good news is that it looks like their dream might just come true.

On Friday, the 22-time major champion appeared on IGUALES, the Mutua Madrid Open’s official podcast, which is being recorded in the underbelly of the Caja Mágica this week. In a relaxed interview, in keeping with the format of the show, which seeks to break away from the traditional feel of an interview, the Balearic Islander revealed what could be one of the biggest stories of the season. Forming a team with Alcaraz at Paris 2024 is something he is considering.

Hours earlier, a cautious Alcaraz had admitted to being scared to ask Nadal about the possibility of playing on the same side of the net at the Olympic Games, a tournament he has never played in. The Mallorcan, unfazed by the situation, was quick to temper the fears any 20-year-old might have about playing alongside a legend.

“[Carlos] doesn’t have to ask me anything, all things being well, we’ll play”, revealed the Mallorcan, publicly declaring his desire to join forces with the man from Murcia. “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 will have to adjust to having a teammate by his side on court; he has very little experience in doubles. In his professional career, the Murcia native has only played nine matches in the team format, none of them coming in the last two seasons. While his meteoric rise to the top of men’s tennis came off the back of very little experience, his adaptation to the pairs discipline will provide a new challenge for the prodigy from El Palmar’s ability to learn quickly.

“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”, said Nadal, with renewed excitement for the four-yearly event. “It’d be good for both of us. I think it’d also be good for the Spanish team so we’ll see how things progress. I hope to be good enough to be a good partner for him, I’m sure he will be for me. We’ll see where that takes us. I also hope to be able to work together a bit first”.

Nadal is one of the most experienced players on tour at the Olympics. The Mallorcan is the only active player to have won a gold medal in singles and doubles, a fitting record for the legendary player. The Spaniard won gold in Beijing in 2008, shortly before rising to the pinnacle of the world rankings for the first time. Later, in Rio 2016, Rafa would complete his set by climbing to the top of the podium alongside his close friend Marc López. Now, this is a feat he may repeat in a few months’ time on the clay of Paris 2024. It is a stage he knows better than anyone.