Paris gives Rafa Nadal double doubts. GETTY IMAGES

Less than a week before Roland Garros and just over two months before the Paris 2024 Olympics, the Spaniard isn't sure if he'll be able to play in both events in his final season as a professional. His wish is to be there, but "we'll see what happens," he said.

The Spanish champion remains doubtful. Paris is his dream. And it's a double dream. The two tournaments he would most like to take part in are in the French capital: Roland Garros and the Olympic Games.

The Spanish tennis player, 14-time French Open winner and Olympic champion, who said a few days ago that he would only take to the courts at Roland Garros when his physical problems were at their worst, said on Saturday: "The decision, as you can imagine, isn't clear in my mind today. However, if I have to say what I feel and if my mind is closer one way or the other, I'm going to say to be in Roland Garros and try my best," Nadal told reporters.

His injuries have caused him to drop to 305th in the world, but that's not what matters most to the Spaniard. Not even his exit from the Rome Open at the hands of Hubert Hurkacz, who beat him in straight sets 6-1, 6-3. It seemed like a step backwards after reaching the last 16 in Madrid.

The dream of Nadal and Alcaraz playing together in the doubles at Paris 2024 is unlikely to come true. GETTY IMAGES
The dream of Nadal and Alcaraz playing together in the doubles at Paris 2024 is unlikely to come true. GETTY IMAGES

"I have some problems physically. However, probably not enough to say that I won't play in the most important event of my tennis career. Let's see what happens, how I feel mentally tomorrow, the day after tomorrow and in a week," he said. Nadal thus closed the book on the clay court in Rome, where he won 10 titles in his career.

Hurkacz will face Tomas Etcheverry in the third round. Nadal's romance with Rome is likely to come to an end as the 22-time Grand Slam victor said he was "98 per cent" sure he would never play on Roman clay again.

"Nobody will ever have a record like his on this surface. He's just bigger than the sport at the end of the day." Hurkacz said. Nadal's participation in Paris 2024 remains an open question. There is also the possibility that two Spaniards, Rafa Nadal and Carlos Alcaraz, could play the doubles together at the Olympics. 

Both Nadal and Carlos Alcaraz expressed their interest in playing doubles together at their last tournament before coming to Italy, the Mutua Madrid Open 2024. It would undoubtedly be a dream come true for all tennis fans. Rafa Nadal told that the possibility was difficult.

"It seems difficult. I still don't know. I didn't have enough physical condition before he got injured in Madrid. It seems to be difficult because there aren't a lot of tournaments that we can play together before the Games". 

Another point of interest in tennis was the condition of Novak Djokovic. He had an accidental bottle incident while approaching the crowd to sign autographs.  Djokovic took it in his stride and on Saturday, the day after the accident, the world number one wore a cycle helmet on his way to practice to show he was fit and ready for Sunday afternoon's clash with Chilean Alejandro Tabilo. 

Djokovic was accidentally hit on the head by a water bottle on Friday night. However,  he escaped with only a minor injury and joked on Saturday: "Today I have come prepared for this.