Carlos Alcaraz has tough but honest message for Rafael Nadal ahead of Paris Olympics

Alcaraz addresses his and Nadal's expected doubles participation at the Paris Olympics.

by Dzevad Mesic
Carlos Alcaraz has tough but honest message for Rafael Nadal ahead of Paris Olympics
© Getty Images Entertainment- Chris Unger

Carlos Alcaraz may have shut down the option of playing a doubles tournament with Rafael Nadal leading up to the Paris Olympics as the reigning French Open champion says he doesn't think that there is "enough time" to prepare with his idol for the Olympics doubles event. 

Just recently, Alcaraz, 21, and 37-year-old Nadal publicly confirmed that they will play doubles together at the Paris Olympics unless something unexpected happens. 

But the Paris Olympics come at a tricky time as the event is starting on July 26th on the clay courts of Roland Garros. Now, the tricky part is that after winning the French Open, Alcaraz is now set to play on grass and then return to clay for the Olympics.

On the other side, Nadal is likely planning to skip the entire grass season, which means he won't have to concern himself about making a quick turnaround between surfaces. 

This week, a report from Spanish media indicated Nadal would use an ATP 500 clay tournament in Hamburg as a preparation for the Paris Olympics. Also, a report claims Nadal may try to convince Alcaraz to enter the Hamburg doubles tournament with him. But since Hamburg is starting just a day after Wimbledon ends, the logical question is how much sense that makes.

However, while Alcaraz admits there likely won't be time to prepare for doubles with Nadal, he acknowledges that the 22-time Grand Slam champion has the ability to quickly adapt to any circumstance, which means they probably wouldn't need much time to develop chemistry on the court. 

"Well, in principle my calendar, now, is Queen's, Wimbledon, and the Olympic Games. I don't think we have time to prepare for the doubles with Nadal," Alcaraz told Radio Marca.

"Rafa knows how to pick up the pace in the doubles. He knows what it is to play and win the gold in both singles and doubles, we will try to adapt in the best way possible ahead of the games."

Carlos Alcaraz and Rafael Nadal
Carlos Alcaraz and Rafael Nadal © Getty Images Sport - Clive Brunskill

Alcaraz and Nadal publicly confirmed the big news in Madrid

Throughout 2023, there was a lot of talk about whether Nadal and Alcaraz would play doubles together in what would likely be the 22-time Grand Slam champion's Olympic farewell While Alcaraz made it clear from the start that he would have nothing against that, Nadal didn't want to make any definitive statements. 

And at this year's Madrid Masters, Alcaraz confirmed he and Nadal will play doubles at the Paris Olympics. 

“If everything goes to plan, like I have already said, we will play the doubles together at the Olympics. But there is a long way to go till it gets underway," Alcaraz said at the Madrid Masters.

Carlos Alcaraz
Carlos Alcaraz © Getty Images Sport - Marcelo Endelli

In Madrid, Nadal also confirmed the doubles news and also revealed he would prefer to play a doubles tournament with Alcaraz before the Paris Olympics. 

"Carlos doesn’t have to ask me anything, if everything goes well, we will play. It’s also very exciting for me. If I’m not mistaken, I’ve heard that this is also the case for him," Nadal said at the Madrid Masters

“So it would be great to play a tournament before the Olympics to prepare and to come to grips with the court. We could have the chance to form a great team and aspire to great things.”

Alcaraz said right away playing a doubles tournament with Nadal before would be 'difficult'

In Madrid, Alcaraz said it would definitely be nice to play a warm-up doubles with Nadal. However, Alcaraz noted that would be something "difficult" to envision since they were dealing with physical concerns and playing doubles at the Rome Masters and French Open wasn't an option.

“We have said how wonderful it would be to play a tournament before the Olympics,” Alcaraz said in Madrid.

“But that will be difficult. On clay the next two tournaments are Rome and Roland Garros, which are hugely important to both of us in terms of the singles. Considering we are not at our physical peak, it will be tough to play both a tournament and the Olympics.”

A couple of days after Alcaraz made this statement, he pulled out of Rome due to a right forearm injury. That's when Nadal admitted it would be "difficult" to play a doubles tournament with Alcaraz before the Paris Olympics.

Rafael Nadal
Rafael Nadal © Getty Images Sport - Clive Brunskill

“Looks difficult. I don’t know yet. He got injured in Madrid. I was not with enough good physical conditions to play before. Looks difficult because not remaining lot of tournaments that we can play together before Olympics. Only Roland-Garros remains, and that will not be the case. I don’t know later. Looks difficult, but let’s see," Nadal said in Rome.

Carlos Alcaraz Rafael Nadal Olympics