Rafael Nadal, Carlos Alcaraz to play doubles for Spain at 2024 Olympics

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - MARCH 03: (L-R) Rafael Nadal and Carlos Alcaraz pose for a photo during The Netflix Slam, a live Netflix Sports event at the MGM Resorts | Michelob Ultra Arena on March 03, 2024 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by David Becker/Getty Images for Netflix © 2024)
Rafael Nadal and Carlos Alcaraz will represent Spain in doubles tennis at the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris. (Photo by David Becker/Getty Images for Netflix © 2024)

Carlos Alcaraz and Rafael Nadal, representing two generations of Spanish tennis, have been chosen to represent their country in doubles tennis at the 2024 Olympics in Paris next month.

The Royal Spanish Tennis Federation made the announcement Wednesday, three days after Alcaraz won his first French Open title at Roland Garros.

Nadal, 38, was also chosen to represent Spain in singles.

This is likely to be Nadal's final year on the tour, and certainly his last Olympics. He made his first Olympic appearance in 2004, won singles gold in 2008 and won doubles gold in 2016 while placing fourth in singles. He's mentioned several times over the past year that he very much wants to play in the Olympics, as it's being held in Paris at his favorite courts — the red clay of Roland Garros, where he's won a mind-bending 14 titles. In this year's French Open, Nadal fell in straight sets to Alexander Zverev.

There's no one better to pair with him than the 21-year-old Alcaraz, who won his third Grand Slam title last weekend at Roland Garros. He's the heir apparent to Nadal, not just as the prince of clay, but as a Spanish tennis star poised to take over the entire world of tennis. He will be making his Olympic debut in Paris.

With Nadal likely saying farewell to the ATP tour this year and Alcaraz shooting up to take his place as Spain's premier tennis player, the pair playing together in doubles feels like a full-circle moment. Nadal made his Olympic debut 20 years ago, also in doubles. At 18, he played alongside countryman Carlos Moya, who had won the French Open in 1998. The pair lost in the first round, but a year later Nadal won his very first French Open, starting a magical run that is only now coming to an end.