By Richard Pagliaro | Friday, May 26, 2023
This Roland Garros 2023 can be seen as a symbolic passing of the torch.
World No. 1 Carlos Alcaraz dreams of a joint Spanish mission under the Olympic torch.
Meeting the media at Roland Garros before starting his first Grand Slam as the No. 1 seed, Alcaraz shared a big dream: to share the court with a hero Rafael Nadal as the Spanish Doubles Dream Team in Olympic Games in Paris in 2024.
The 36-year-old Nadal announced that he intends to play his farewell season in 2024.
Alcaraz said he dreams of forming a doubles duo with Nadal, who won the Olympic doubles gold medal with Mark Lopez, now part of his coaching team.
“For me, doubles with him at the Olympics could be a dream,” Alcaraz told the media in Paris. “So of course, let’s see. Let’s see how he’s doing and how he’s doing, you know, this year. Let’s hope he’s doing great.
“But yeah, doubles with him would be a dream for me.”
This Roland Garros is a milestone: For the first time since 2004, Nadal is out of singles, and Alcaraz takes first place for the first time.
Alcaraz said he was saddened to hear that the king of clay would not defend his crown, but hoped for Nadal’s revival next season.
“I felt bad when I heard that Rafa was unable to play here at Roland Garros and probably for the rest of the year,” said Alcaraz. “As a tennis fan, like I said, as a fan, you know, I always watch Rafa play. I always want to see the best players in the world playing tournaments.
“And obviously learning from them really close, here in the dressing rooms, you know, around the club, the tournament is great for me.
“When I heard that, it was hard for me to understand what it would be like, you know, without Rafa this year. I hope to see him next year when he is 100% fit.”
Image credit: @BNP Paribas Open