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Tennis News • Rafa Nadal Gets To 1,000 Win Milestone, Fourth Man In Open Era To Accomplish That Feat

By Ricky Dimon

Rafael Nadal reached the 1,000 career ATP match wins milestone when he battled past Feliciano Lopez 4-6, 7-6(5), 6-4 in round two of the Rolex Paris Masters on Wednesday. Nadal broke serve only once, but taking the second-set tiebreaker and his lone break right away in the decider allowed him to advance after two hours and 30 minutes.

As always, Nadal produced his standard answer whenever he produces a historic achievement.

“Well, that means that I am old,” the 34-year-old joked following his victory over Lopez, before turning serious.

“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 is something that makes me feel happy. 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. So, yeah, (it is) a special moment. I know (it) is a very special number, 1000.

Rafael Nadal of Spain celebrates his victory with a trophy marking his 1,000th win on the main ATP tour following his second round match against Feliciano Lopez of Spain at the Rolex Paris Masters tennis tournament in Paris, France, 04 November 2020.

“Even if it’s not the same to celebrate something like this without a crowd, I enjoy it with ATP, with the president of the French Federation, Guy Forget, supervisor, and the ball boys. I enjoy it and just can say thanks to all of them to make this moment a little bit more special.”

Nadal is the fourth player in Open Era history to win 1,000 matches on the ATP Tour. He joins Jimmy Connors (the all-time leader at 1,274), Roger Federer (1,242), and Ivan Lendl (1,068).

The second-ranked Spaniard will face Jordan Thompson in the Paris third round on Thursday. Also advancing on Wednesday were Andrey Rublev, Stan Wawrinka, Daniil Medvedev, and Alex de Minaur. Rublev, the Vienna champion, remained on a roll by clobbering Radu Albot 6-1, 6-2. De Minaur took down Vienna runner-up Lorenzo Sonego 6-3, 7-5.

Ricky contributes to 10sballs.com and also maintains his own tennis website, The Grandstand. You can follow him on twitter at @Dimonator.