By Richard Pagliaro | Friday, May 26, 2023
This 2023 Roland Garros can be seen as a symbolic passing of the torch.
World No. 1 Carlos Alcaraz dreams of shared Spanish mission beneath the Olympic torch.
Meeting the media at Roland Garros before launching his first Grand Slam as No. 1 seed, Alcaraz shared a major dream: Share the court with hero Rafa Nadal as a Spanish doubles dream team at the 2024 Paris Olympic Games.
The 36-year-old Nadal announced he aims to play a 2024 farewell season.
Alcaraz said he dreams of a forming a doubles duo with Nadal, who won the 2016 Olympic doubles gold medal with Marc Lopez, now a part of his coaching team.
“For me, it could be a dream playing doubles with him, you know, in the Olympics,” Alcaraz told the media in Paris. “So of course let’s see. Let’s see how he’s doing and how he’s going, you know, in this year. Hopefully, you know, he’s going great.
“But yeah, for me it could be a dream to play doubles with him.”
This Roland Garros marks a milestone: It is the first time since 2004 Nadal is not in the singles field and the first time Alcaraz is top seed.
Alcaraz said hearing the king of clay would not defend his crown made him sad, but he hopes for a Nadal resurgence next season.
“I felt bad when I hear that Rafa, he was not able to play here in Roland Garros and probably the rest of the year,” Alcaraz said. “As a fan of tennis, as I said, as a fan, you know, I always to watch Rafa playing. I always want to watch the best players in the world playing the tournaments.
“And of course learning from them really close, here in the locker rooms, you know, around the club, the tournament for me is great.
“When I hear that, for me, it was tough, you know, to understand how it’s gonna be, you know, without Rafa this year. Hopefully to see him next year that he’s 100%, hopefully.”
Photo credit: @BNP Paribas Open