Alcaraz enjoys unusual cool-down method
Carlos Alcaraz will try his best to represent Spain at the 2024 Olympic Games and play alongside compatriot Rafael Nadal – but both men will need to submit an appeal. Next year’s Paris Games will be the first for the 20-year-old and it will likely be the last of the 22-time Grand Slam champion’s illustrious career.
There is even more incentive for Nadal, as the tennis event at Paris 2024 will be held on his beloved clay courts at Roland Garros. However, both players are unable to be selected for the Olympics as they have failed to meet the usual criteria to represent their country.
During a conversation with El Universal, Alcaraz says he will do all he can to achieve his dream of competing at the Olympic Games. “It is going to be a demanding year, it is a little more special having the Olympics,” the Wimbledon champion said. I really want to play. Trying to bring a medal to my country is what I would like the most and we are going to work to achieve it.”
To be able to compete at the Olympics, a player must have represented their country’s Davis Cup team on at least two separate occasions in the Olympic Cycle. For the Paris Games one of these must come in 2023 or 2024.
The 2023 Davis Cup competition concluded on Sunday as Italy won the prestigious team event for the first time since 1976. Nadal has not played since the 2019 Davis Cup and Alcaraz last featured in the event in 2022.
Spain will not feature in the tournament again until September 2024 after receiving a wildcard into the group stage. Therefore, Nadal and Alcaraz have no other opportunities to appear in the competition again until after the 2024 Olympics.
All hope is not lost, though, for the Spanish duo can write a letter of appeal to the ITF pleading their respective cases to be allowed to play for Spain at the next Olympics. Nadal has not played any tennis since January due to a hip injury and he had surgery to fix the issue back in June.
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Alcaraz withdrew from Spain’s Davis Cup team in September to rest after losing to Daniil Medvedev in the US Open semi-finals. Both players have expressed their desire to play doubles with each other at the Olympics and win a gold medal for Spain.
“Everyone knows that I have always been a lover of Games. I have lived incredible moments of coexistence, of seeing what sport is in its pure essence,” Nadal said. “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 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.” On the subject, Alcaraz told COPE in July: “It would be a dream. Not only to win a medal at singles or doubles, but just to live the experience of playing a doubles with your idol, would be a memory that I would keep with special affection.”
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