Partnering Rafael Nadal in doubles would be a dream for any player, and even more so for fellow Spaniards hoping to win an Olympic medal. Not surprisingly, former women's World No. 1 Garbine Muguruza is hoping to get that chance too. Muguruza recently revealed that partnering Nadal in the mixed doubles event at the Olympics is one of her special career goals.
Rafael Nadal has already won two Olympics gold medals for Spain - one in men's singles and another in men's doubles. But Garbine Muguruza, a former French Open and Wimbledon champion, has never come close to tasting Olympic glory.
Currently ranked No. 15 in the world, Muguruza reached the final of the 2020 Australian Open and is one of the most popular figures on the WTA tour. During a recent interview with AS, the 27-year-old was asked about the specific objectives she has set out for her future.
"Winning all four Grand Slams, an Olympic medal, and playing mixed doubles with Nadal at the Games," Muguruza replied. "The most special thing is sharing the successes."
It remains to be seen how much of a workload Nadal will take on at the Tokyo Olympic Games next year. The Spaniard will be in heavy demand as a partner for both men's doubles and mixed doubles, but he might not want to play all three formats.
Rafael Nadal's rich history at the Olympics
Representing Spain at the global level has been one of the major priorities for Rafael Nadal over the years. In addition to his long line of Davis Cup successes, Nadal has also won a singles gold medal at the 2008 Beijing Olympics and a doubles gold medal (partnering Marc Lopez) at the 2016 Rio Games.
The 20-time Slam champion is one of only two male players (the other being Andre Agassi) in history to have completed the Career Golden Slam in singles.
Rafael Nadal withdrew from the 2012 Olympic Games due to a knee injury. And at the 2016 Rio Games, the Spaniard reached the bronze medal match in the men's singles event but was knocked out by Japan's Kei Nishikori.
Interestingly, Nadal pulled out of mixed doubles at Rio after going deep in the men's singles and men's doubles events.
The Tokyo Games were postponed from June this year to 2021 owing to the COVID-19 pandemic. The event will have special significance for Rafael Nadal as well as other legends of the sport such as Roger Federer and Serena Williams, given that this could well be their last Olympics.Published 30 Dec 2020, 17:40 IST