Rafa Nadal said it would be exciting to partner fellow Spaniard Carlos Alcaraz at the Paris Olympics this year and the 22-times singles Grand Slam champion hoped they can enter some doubles tournaments in the build-up to the Games.

Singles world number three Alcaraz said previously he would like to play at the Olympics alongside his 37-year-old idol, who expects to bring the curtains down on his glittering but injury-plagued career this year.

At the Madrid Open where the duo are competing this week, the 20-year-old admitted to being somewhat nervous about initiating the discussion but Nadal put him at ease.

“Carlos doesn’t have to ask me anything, all things being well, we’ll play,” Nadal said during the IGUALES podcast. “It’s also hugely exciting for me. If I’m not mistaken, I’ve heard it is for him too.

“So it would be great to play the odd tournament before the Olympics to prepare ourselves and to get some rapport on court.”

While twice Grand Slam champion Alcaraz is set to make his Olympic debut in the July 26-Aug. 11 Games, Nadal will be eyeing his third gold medal after triumphing in singles in the 2008 Beijing Games and doubles eight years later in Rio.

But Nadal has had a torrid time with injury in recent years, missing nearly all of 2023 with a hip issue that needed surgery.

He returned to competition in Brisbane in January but was out for another stretch due to a thigh issue, only coming back in Barcelona last week before casting doubts over his French Open participation next month.

The tennis competition at the Paris Games will take place on clay at Roland Garros, where Nadal has won 14 major titles.

“I think if we’re both fit enough, why not? We could have the chance to form a great team and aspire to great things,” Nadal said of the partnership.

“It would be good for both of us. It would also be good for the Spanish team, so we’ll see how things progress.”

Nadal, a five-times champion in Madrid, faces Australian 10th seed Alex de Minaur later on Saturday.