WATCH: Nadal Already Trains For Paris Olympics At His Academy In Mallorca

WATCH: Nadal Already Trains For Paris Olympics At His Academy In Mallorca

by Nurein Ahmed

For Rafael Nadal, the journey to the Paris Olympics has started with the Spaniard hitting the practice courts recently to get himself match-fit for the tournament.

Nadal has confirmed his participation in the upcoming Games, which will be held at Roland Garros from July 27th to August 4th. He will be one of 64 men in the singles draw vying to win a gold medal, but that's not the only tournament he will play there.

The 38-year-old is one-half of the dream doubles team to set foot at the tournament. The 14-time French Open champion will join forces with the current winner of the clay-court Grand Slam, Carlos Alcaraz, in the doubles draw.

It will be Nadal's third Olympics, having competed at the 2008 Beijing Olympics (won a gold medal in singles) and the 2016 Rio Olympics (won a gold medal in doubles).

Even as he enters the twilight of his career, Nadal has defied the odds and cannot be written off from winning a medal in either competition. Testament to Nadal's ambitions for the Olympics, he has decided not to pursue a 23rd Grand Slam at Wimbledon.

His decision not to switch surfaces will give him an additional advantage, as the Olympics will be played on clay courts in a venue that Nadal knows better than anybody else. He owns a 112-4 record on the Parisian clay.

Nadal has been practicing on clay for a while, even after he lost to Alexander Zverev in the first round of this year's Roland Garros. He recently shared a video of an intense practice session at his own academy in Mallorca.

A sneak peek of the short story on Instagram (below) shows Nadal sliding on his beloved surface before arrowing a forehand return shot. This is the kind of motion that has been fixated on tennis fans' brains while watching him play competitively on clay.


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