Rafael Nadal beat Feliciano Lopez 4-6 7-6(5) 6-4 but had to survive an early scare from his good pal in the opening stages of the match. The victory also saw the Spaniard claim a 1,000th ATP Tour win – becoming only the fourth-ever man to do so.
Rafael Nadal joked at his own expense over the one negative thing about winning 1,000 ATP Tour matches in his career.
The victory on Wednesday night in the Paris Masters makes him just the fourth-ever man to make that many wins.
However, the 34-year-old has someway before becoming the claimant of the most-ever – which goes to Jimmy Commons, who has 1,274.
Roger Federer has the second-most on 1,242 while Ivan Lendl is the third with 1,068.
One negative thing about 1,000 wins is you are very old!
And though Nadal was over the moon to get to the impressive total, he did admit it meant that he must be getting long in the tooth.
Courtside, he said: “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.
“It means I’ve done a lot of things right.
“I’m 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.”
But Nadal had to work for his 1,000th win after coming from behind to beat Feliciano Lopez in the round of 32.
The Spaniard put up an incredible display against his countryman, deservedly taking the first set.
Lopez looked in a strong position to start with after a series of blistering serves.
Incredibly, the 39-year-old won 93 per cent of his first-serve points while also sending down eight aces in a ferocious opening set.
“It was a very tough match, and I started the worst way possible with the break against him because you are under a lot of pressure for the whole match,” Nadal added.
The French Open winner took control in the third set after a closely-fought second to set up a round of 16 tie with Jordan Thompson.
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