Rafael Nadal scored a come-from-behind victory against Feliciano Lopez at the Paris Masters on Wednesday to become only the fourth man in the Open Era to register 1000 wins.
Less than a month ago, Nadal had won his 13th title at Roland Garros to equal Roger Federer’s record of 20 majors. The 34-year-old, who had received a bye in the first round of Paris Masters, defeated fellow Spaniard Lopez 4-6, 7-6(5), 6-4 to make more history in the French capital.
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“(Winning 1,000 matches) means that I am old,” Nadal said after the match.
“That means that I played well for such a very long time, because to achieve that number is because I have been playing well for a lot of years and (that) is something that makes me feel happy.
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“I just can say thank you very much to all the people that helped me and all the people that in any moment of my life helped me to be where I am.”
Of course, match win No. 1,000 is among his most memorable! 👏@RafaelNadal | @RolexPMasters | #Rafa1000 pic.twitter.com/quCChbDAQ7
— ATP Tour (@atptour) November 4, 2020
Jimmy Connors (1,274-283), Federer (1,242-271) and Ivan Lendl (1,068-242) are the only male players to have crossed the milestone of 1000 wins before Nadal.
To add to this, Nadal has the best winning percentage (83.3, win loss record of 1000-201) in the Open Era.
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Even though Nadal has been almost invincible on clay at Roland Garros, the indoor courts of Paris-Bercy haven’t always been a happy hunting ground for him. The 35-time ATP 1000 Masters champion has never won the Paris Masters.
And the Spaniard started almost hesitantly against Lopez, losing serve in the very first game.
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But Nadal steadied himself in the second set, gunned down a total of 16 aces in the match and saved three out of four break points to clinch victory.
“I started the match in the worst way possible, especially against a big server like Feli,” said Nadal.
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“After that, I played under a lot of pressure the rest of the match, but I found a way. That’s the main thing… This victory is one that I am very proud of. The personal satisfaction sometimes is bigger when you win these matches than if you go on court and you win 6-3, 6-3.”
Rafael Nadal’s Milestone Wins (Courtesy ATP Tour)
|200||Juan Martin del Potro||2007||Miami|
|300||Ivo Karlovic||2008||Queen’s Club|
|400||Tomas Berdych||2009||Davis Cup|
|600||Juan Martin del Potro||2013||Indian Wells|
|800||Thomaz Bellucci||2016||Rio Olympics|
|900||Richard Gasquet||2018||Roland Garros|