Paris: Rafael Nadal, 20-time Grand Slam champion, has added one more feather to his already illustrious cap by becoming the fourth tennis player to record 1000 Open Era single wins.
Rafael Nadal stated that he was proud of the “great achievement” after procuring the 1,000th Tour-level win.
On Wednesday, Feliciano Lopez was defeated by Nadal 4-6, 7-6 (5), 6-4 to arrive at the third round of the ongoing Paris Masters.
Nadal is on the fourth position on the all-time rundown, with Jimmy Connors leading the list on 1,274 triumphs, 32 more than second-positioned Roger Federer.
Nadal was quoted by the ATP Tour site as saying, “(Winning 1,000 matches) means that I am old. 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.”
Game. Set. Match. (x1000)
— ATP Tour (@atptour) November 4, 2020
He included, “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.”
Nadal won his first match on the ATP Tour came in April 2002 when he was only 15. Nadal was given an exceptional presentation to celebrate his accomplishment after the match in a close to empty Bercy Arena, with the event being played in behind closed doors after France implemented its second COVID-19 lockdown in the previous week.
Winning the trophy in Paris this week would see Nadal equal Novak Djokovic’s record of 36 Masters titles. He battled to find his rhythm for a great part of the match as 39-year-old Lopez served astoundingly, saving the initial six break points he faced, however, Nadal stepped it up in the second-set tie-break.
The 13-time Roland Garros champion, who is meaning to capture his first Paris Masters title, will now go against Jordan Thompson for a spot in the quarter-finals. The 2007 runner-up has arrived at the quarter-finals or better in every one of his past seven tournament appearances.