Rafael Nadal created history after winning his opening-round match at the Rolex Paris Masters 2020. Nadal became the fourth man in the Open Era to record 1,000 match wins on the ATP tour. The Spaniard defeated fellow countryman Feliciano Lopez in a thrilling showdown, despite losing the first set.
During the post-match interview, the host asked Nadal about the historic achievement of clocking a thousand wins on the tour. While talking about his thousand wins, the 20-time Grand Slam champion humorously indicated that he was getting old. However, Nadal admitted that it was a special feeling and was also a testament to having done things the right way during his career.
“Well, of course. One very negative thing about getting 1000 wins is you’re very old. To win one thousand matches, you need to have a very long career. But, super happy, to arrive to that number means I did a lot of things well for a long time,” said Nadal.
Paris and Rafa. They just go together 👑#RolexParisMasters | @RafaelNadal pic.twitter.com/EhuCpSRLui
— ROLEX PARIS MASTERS (@RolexPMasters) November 4, 2020
The World No. 2 joins the exclusive club of Jimmy Connors (1,274), Roger Federer (1,242), and Ivan Lendl (1,068) as the only men to have won 1,000 plus matches in the Open Era. The 34-year-old won his first match at age 15 when he defeated Paraguayan Ramon Delgado in the first round at Mallorca.
A tough match: Rafael Nadal
Lopez broke Nadal early in the opening set to race to a 2-0 and eventually closed out the set 6-4. Seeded No.1, Nadal won the second set in a close tie-break to push the match into the deciding set. During the interview, Nadal acknowledged that it was hard to play against a big server like Lopez, and he was content to have won the high-pressure match.
“Have been a very tough match, I started the worst way possible with the break against him. It’s difficult because then you under a lot of pressure… I am happy to finally find a way to win, because you don’t want to be in a tiebreak to lose a match against a big server like Feli and very good player from the baseline,” remarked Nadal.
The Roland Garros champion will face Jordan Thompson in the third round of Paris Bercy. Thompson ousted the 15th seeded Boric Coric 2-6, 6-4, 6-2.