Rafa Nadal makes sad call on Wimbledon amid massive Carlos Alcaraz move for Olympics

The Spanish tennis great will miss Wimbledon to prepare for the Paris Games.

Rafa Nadal has revealed he will miss Wimbledon to get his body right for the Paris Olympics. The Spanish tennis great will team up with newly crowned French Open champion Carlos Alcaraz at the upcoming Games as he searches for his third Olympic gold medal.

The announcement comes three days after 21-year-old Alcaraz won the title at Roland Garros - his first French Open title and third grand slam trophy. Alcaraz is widely regarded as the heir to the throne in Spanish tennis and has said on numerous occasions that Nadal was his childhood hero. With little chance of a deep run at Wimbledon and never having played doubles with Alcaraz, Nadal will forego the switch to grass to instead continue his preparations on clay - the surface the Olympics tennis matches will be played on.

Pictured left Rafa Nadal and right Carlos Alcaraz
Rafa Nadal has announced he will skip Wimbledon as he prepares to play doubles with Carlos Alcaraz for Spain at the upcoming Paris Olympics. Image: Getty

The 38-year-old Nadal already has Olympic gold medals in singles (2008) and doubles (2016 with Marc Lopez) to go alongside his 22 grand slam titles. Nadal and Alcaraz will be joined on Spain's men's Olympic tennis team by Pablo Carreno Busta, Alejandro Davidovich and Marcel Granollers.

Nadal admitted after the French Open that he had probably competed at Wimbledon for the last time as the stress on his body from switching from clay to grass and back to clay would likely be too much of an ask of his ageing body. The tennis champion has only competed at Wimbledon once in the last four years - in 2022 when he made the semi-finals but was forced to withdraw before the match against Aussie Nick Kyrgios due to injury.

The Spaniard most recently competed at the French Open, where he was knocked out in the first round by the man who Alcaraz ended up beating in the final, Alexander Zverev. Following his 6-3 7-6 (7-5) 6-3 defeat, Nadal admitted that he had likely competed at Roland Garros for the final time, stating there is a "big percentage" chance fans will never see him play the French Open again.

The 37-year-old suffered just his fourth loss in 116 career matches at the French Open this year and the 14-time champion said after his loss that he is unsure if it will be the last time he competes at his favourite grand slam. "The feelings I have are difficult to describe in words. It is difficult for me to talk. Honestly, I don't know if it will be the last time before you all.

PARIS, FRANCE - MAY 27: Rafael Nadal of Spain enters the court before his first round match against Alexander Zverev of Germany on day 2 of the 2024 French Open, Roland-Garros 2024, Grand Slam tennis tournament at Roland Garros stadium on May 27, 2024 in Paris, France. (Photo by Jean Catuffe/Getty Images)
Rafa Nadal will attempt to win a third Olympic gold medal in doubles at the upcoming Paris Games.

"It is a big percentage I will not be back, but the body is feeling a bit better and I'm having fun. Maybe in two months, I will say enough, but I hope to be back on this court in two months for the Olympics. That motivates me."

Nadal missed most of the 2023 season with a hip issue and his comeback has been hampered by multiple ailments. The 22-time grand slam champion said he wants to keep playing if he's still enjoying himself but admits that his ability to play tournaments is at this stage of his career a day-by-day proposition.

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"My body has been a jungle for two years. You don't know what to expect. I wake up one day and I find a snake biting me. Another day a tiger," he joked after his French Open exit. "I've been fighting with all the things that I went through. But the dynamic is positive the last few weeks. I felt ready. I think tomorrow I'll be ready to play again if I have to. But I will not have to.

"Now, I need to prepare myself, I need to clear my ideas and see what's the new calendar to try to be ready for the Olympics. My main goal now is to play in the Olympics. If it's the last time that I played here, I am at peace with myself."

with AAP