Rafael Nadal won his 1000th ATP match as he beat Feliciano Lopez 4-6 7-6(2) 6-4 at the Paris Masters.
He won his first ATP match as a 15-year-old on 29 April 2002, a little over 18 years ago.
Nadal went down 6-4 in the first set against his compatriot, and then looked on course for an upset, but he rescued the second 7-6 (2), before triumphing 6-4 in the third set.
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"One negative thing about 1,000 wins is you are very old because to win 1,000 matches you need to have a very long career, but I am super happy," Nadal said courtside. "It means I've done a lot of things right.
Im proud of a lot of things, but I faced some challenges in my career in terms of injuries ... It's a big achievement to be playing at the age of 34.
Nadal won his 13th Roland Garros title three weeks ago to equal Roger Federer’s men’s record of 20 Grand Slam wins.
Nadal y sus 1000 victorias
Image credit: Getty Images
In Paris he now has the chance to continue an attempt to win his 36th ATP Masters 1000 title, which would tie him with men’s tennis number one Novak Djokovic.
Nadal will not have an easy time of it as he attempts to reach the final, with Pablo Carreno Busta in his side of the draw, with the Spaniard recently reaching the US Open semi-finals. David Goffin, the eighth seed in Paris, is also a likely opponent should Nadal progress, though he has yet to win this tournament a single time.
The 34-year-old Spaniard is currently ranked number two in the world but nothing he can do for the rest of the season will be enough to supplant Djokovic in the number one spot.
Djokovic secured his number one ranking for the rest of the year’s season last week, and the pair of them could meet in December’s ATP finals in London.
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