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After Carlos Alcaraz says doubles with Rafael Nadal would be 'a dream,' what pairs would we love to see?
The No. 1 seed at Roland Garros got us thinking about some other ambitious crossovers.
Published May 27, 2023
WATCH: Carlos Alcaraz met the media ahead of Roland Garros.
Rafael Nadal isn't playing Roland Garros for the first time since 2004, but he's nonetheless top of mind for all the players competing in Paris, including his compatriot Carlos Alcaraz.
"I felt bad when I hear that Rafa, he was not able to play here in Roland Garros and probably the rest of the year," Alcaraz said in his pre-tournament press conference on Friday. "As I said before, as a fan of tennis, I always [wanted] to watch Rafa playing. I always want to watch the best players in the world playing the tournaments.
"When I hear that, for me, it was tough to understand how it's gonna be without Rafa this year. Hopefully, to see him next year, that he's 100%, hopefully."
As he looked ahead to the reality of what might be Nadal's final season in 2024, Alcaraz added that it would a "dream" to play doubles with the first-ballot Hall of Famer at the Paris Olympics.
"Let's see how he's doing and how he's going, you know, in this year," he said. "Hopefully, he's going great. But yeah, for me, it could be a dream to play doubles with him."
Alcaraz's words got us thinking: What other doubles pairs, compatriots or not, would get tennis talking? Here are some ideas for men's, women's and mixed doubles pairs we'd love to see.
Aryna Sabalenka and Sara Sorribes Tormo
You'd be hard-pressed to find two of the WTA's more polar opposites, with Sabalenka's first-strike, power tennis and Sorribes Tormo's love for long rallies. (And considering Sabalenka is already besties with Sorribes Tormo's Billie Jean King Cup teammate Paula Badosa, the introduction would be easy.)
Coco Gauff and Barbora Krejcikova
Each one-half of the two best doubles teams in the world over the last year-plus, it might be fun to see what would happen if these two former No. 1s found their way onto the same side of the net.
Belinda Bencic and Donna Vekic
Two of the WTA tour's very best friends, they've never played with each other despite having played against each other five times.
Daniil Medvedev and Alexander Bublik
Not only are these two good buddies, but they're also two of the ATP's most mercurial players. You never quite know what you'll get from them on any given day, from shot-making to sarcasm. Putting them together just sounds like something that should happen.
Holger Rune and Casper Ruud
It would be fun to see these two opposite personalities from neighboring nations share the court, but only if they can put the antics of 'Ja!'-gate from 12 months ago in Paris behind them. (Study up, if you need a refresher)
Ben Shelton and Denis Shapovalov
These two lefties are two of the best showmen on tour. Get them together, and the highlights will cut themselves.
Ons Jabeur and Frances Tiafoe
These two crowd-pleasers and fan favorites would be sure to thrill stadiums around the world with their flash, and mega-watt smiles.
(And besides: They're already plotting.)
Andy Murray and Caroline Garcia
Twelve years ago, as a then-teenaged Garcia pushed Maria Sharapova all the way in Paris, Murray famous touted her on Twitter as a future No. 1.
John Isner and Lauren Davis
While the 6-foot-10 Isner already teamed up with the 5-foot-7 Diego Schwartzman for one of the ATP's most viral doubles teams, might we propose this mixed match with his fellow American, the 5-foot-2 Davis?
As a bonus, they have the same pre-service routine: Look closely, and you'll notice that both bounce the ball between their legs before each serve.