Rafael Nadal and Carlos Alcaraz - Roland Garros 2024

Carlos Alcaraz hoping to ‘learn a lot’ from Rafael Nadal in Olympics partnership

Carlos Alcaraz has spoken about his excitement to play doubles with Rafael Nadal at the Paris Olympics, revealing that he ‘did not expect’ it to happen.

Alcaraz and Nadal are both set to compete in singles and doubles at the Games later this year, with it being the former’s first ever Olympics.

And the 21-year-old has spoken to press about how he is hoping to learn lessons from Nadal, who is a two-time Olympic gold medallist.

“I mean, I didn’t expect to play doubles at the Olympic Games with Rafa,” revealed Alcaraz. “It is a unique moment for me but of course I am very happy about it. Let’s see how it’s going to be but it’s going to be a great time.

“Honestly, I feel he is going to teach me how to deal with everything. I am the young guy who needs to grow up as a player, to grow up as a person as well. Of course it’s going to be my first Olympic Games. Everything is new for me, so I hope to learn a lot from him.”

Alcaraz is currently gearing up to play his first tournament since winning Roland Garros, with the world No.2 detailing how he spent his week off celebrating.

“I had a few days off, I went to Ibiza with a group of friends. I had fun, I enjoyed my time,” said Alcaraz. “Obviously Roland Garros was a fantastic two weeks for me, a dream come true to lift the trophy but right now my mind must be here on the grass, to be ready as soon as I can to play good tennis here at Queen’s and obviously to get ready for Wimbledon.

“Right now my focus is on the grass season, these two tournaments. After that, my mind will be to be ready on clay again and playing my best tennis at the Olympic Games.”

Alcaraz will begin his grass court season as defending champion at Queen’s Club, where he claimed the title last year before going on to win Wimbledon.

The Murcian has explained how he now feels ‘more mature on the surface’, “I’m really happy to be back. I arrived yesterday morning and was on the grass for 25 minutes before the rain came. Today, I had over two hours practicing, playing sets and tie-breaks which helped me a lot to be ready before we start the tournament.”

He continued, “I have more matches under my belt on the grass now and had a great run last year across the two tournaments. I know a little bit more about how to play and I’m more mature on the surface.

“The first practice I did here, my movement wasn’t as good as last year but it’s a slow process – I have to be really focused in my practice and every match I play but I’m sure I’ll get to 100%.”

Alcaraz will begin his Queen’s title defence later today against Argentine Francisco Cerundolo.

Inside the baseline…

It is hard not to get excited about the dream team of Carlos Alcaraz and Rafael Nadal, who are likely to be a real threat at the Olympics later this year. Not only does Nadal know what it takes to dominate on the clay of Roland Garros, where tennis at the Paris Olympics is held, but he also knows how to win doubles gold, as he did so with Marc Lopez in Rio de Janeiro (2016). In terms of Alcaraz’s grass court season, it is hard to see him not doing similar things to last year, especially with Novak Djokovic a current doubt for Wimbledon.

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Matthew Johns, Tennishead Writer, is a professional tennis journalist with a specialist degree in Sports Journalism. He's a keen tennis player having represented his local club and University plus he's also a qualified tennis coach. Matthew has a deep knowledge of tennis especially the ATP Tour and thrives on breaking big tennis news stories for Tennishead.