What Rafael Nadal and Carlos Alcaraz need to do to qualify for Paris 2024

Carlos Alcaraz and Rafael Nadal

Rafael Nadal’s dreams of a farewell season that includes a double visit to Roland Garros hang by a very thin Davis Cup thread.

Any players who hope to have a shot at Olympic gold in Paris in 2024 must meet the requirement of playing at the Davis Cup for their home country in 2023 and 2024.

Nadal is not the only Spaniard at risk of missing out on the quadrennial showpiece with Carlos Alcaraz also yet to fulfill his Davis Cup ‘duty’.

Fortunately for both players the 2024 Davis Cup Group stage takes place before the Olympics cut off.

It isn’t just Nadal’s dream final season that is on the line. Alcaraz confessed that he hopes to team with Nadal at the Olympics for Spain.

“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.”” Alcaraz told COPE earlier this year.

However that dream is up in the air as both Alcaraz and Nadal will need to appeal to the ITF to waive the 2023 Davis Cup play requirement.

In a report this week, Spanish sports newspaper Marca elaborated on recent rulings, adding that the two must now write a letter to the ITF via the RTEF (Royal Spanish Tennis Federation) explaining why they were unable to compete in the Davis Cup.

Nadal must produce a medical report documenting his lengthy injury layoff, while Alcaraz must prove that he was preparing to represent Spain in the play-off stage, which was cancelled due to the wildcard handed to Spain by the ITF.

The wildcard might be what ultimately saves Nadal from missing out on the Olympics as Spain might have lost their playoff and been unable to compete in the 2024 Davis Cup group stage, even if that call has now complicated matters for Alcaraz.

The Olympic eligibility rules allows for significant discretion to be offered to players on the grounds of injury, illness or other circumstances that might prevent a player from playing in the Davis Cup. There are also measures that the selection panel can apply to reason the selection of a prominent player like Nadal even if he doesn’t meet the Davis Cup qualification requirement.

The ITF rules paragraph two reads: “Where the player has not met the minimum participation requirement set out at paragraph v) above, the relevant decision-maker (the “Panel”) as specified in the Regulations for the Olympic Tennis Event may exercise its discretion to rule that a player who satisfies all other eligibility criteria is considered eligible for nomination for and participation in the Olympic Tennis Event when taking into consideration special circumstances.”

Olympic Games Tennis Event Eligibility Rules

READ MORE: Every word from Novak Djokovic’s press conference after his shocking double Davis Cup defeat