It has always been the dream of tennis legends to leave the court in high spirit. Roger Federer waved goodbye to the court with applause and a broad smile in his last game at the Laver Cup 2022. Serena Williams ended her glittering career in last year’s US Open in an emotional way. Rafael Nadal is also planning to do the same as he eyes his final lap in the court.
Rafael Nadal, 37, twenty-two Grand Slam winner, expressed possibilities of teaming up with No. 2 Carlos Alcarez in doubles at the 2024 Paris Olympics. Nadal, who has not featured in any tournament since January is optimistic that he will comeback strong in 2024.
Nadal’s Olympic ambitions extend to doubles with Alcarez
Rafael Nadal, has experienced plenty of Olympic success in the past, winning gold in singles at the 2008 Games in Beijing, defeating Fernando Gonzalez in straight sets, 6–3, 7–6(7–2), 6–3.
In the 2016 Rio Olympics, Rafael Nadal won gold in men’s doubles with Marc Lopez. Together, the Spanish duo emerged victorious against Romanian pair Florin Mergea and Horia Tecau. Now, it looks as though Nadal has set his sights on another Olympic medal, this time with young tennis star Alcaraz.
“For the Games, on a personal level, I would like to play them one more time. Everyone knows that I have always been a lover of the Games. I have lived incredible moments of co-existence, of seeing what sport is in its pure essence,” Nadal said in an interview with AS.
“Regarding the fact of playing doubles with Carlos, I have not had the slightest conversation with him in that regard. But I would also like [it] and it would be a good motivation, another incentive for me to be able to close my Olympic cycle playing with Carlos, with everything he is achieving, with the young people and with the great future he has ahead of him,” Nadal added.
In May, Rafael Nadal announced that he would miss the French Open and would likely retire next fall. He has mentioned the 2024 Summer Olympics as something he would like to do before his retirement.
Nadal underwent surgery in June for a hip flexor injury, ruling him out for the rest of the season. The good news for Rafael Nadal is that the matches at the Olympics would be held at Roland-Garros, a clay court where Nadal has won a record 14 French Open titles, out of 22 career Grand Slams. Nadal, who has been dubbed the “King of Clay,” is regarded as one of the greatest clay players in the sport.
Tennis Legend Rafael Nadal to bed farewell in 2024
Rafael Nadal, tennis legend and Grand Slam winner has said that 2024 will be the final year of his career but left the door open in case he changes his mind. “The 2024 Olympics in Paris would be a nice end to my career if I feel good,” Nadal said in an interview with Movistar Plus+. “My schedule can change if I feel I can have a chance to win at Roland Garros.”
The tennis event of the 2024 Olympics will take place at the Rolland Garros in Paris between July 27 and August 4. The French Open would take center stage from May 20 to June 9, which Nadal has won 14 times.
“Yes, it is going to be my last year 100 percent,” Nadal said. “I have it planned like this. I don’t believe in magic, but if suddenly the body recovers after the long layoff I’ve had, and I feel strong and energetic to continue – I’m saying one thing but then may do another.”
Rafael Nadal, King of Clay, last played in the French Open in 2022, which he won, defeating Djokovic in the finals. Tennis Fans are hoping Nadal wins the French Open and Paris Olympics, as that would bring him to light again after being sidelined by injury for months and falling out of the top 200 ranks.