When he made his home debut on the main tour in Mallorca in April 2002, Rafael Nadal was only 15 years old. Rafa commemorated his 1000th ATP victory at the 2020 Paris Masters, which took place eighteen and a half years later. Rafa’s victory over compatriot Feliciano Lopez in the second round, which took two and a half hours, was 4-6, 7-6, 6-4.
After Jimmy Connors, Ivan Lendl, and Roger Federer, Nadal became the fourth player in the Open era to amass 1000 ATP victories. By remaining active for over two decades, Nadal joined previous luminaries on a remarkable feat. Rafa was ecstatic after winning and made fun of the fact that he also felt elderly.
With a win in set two and an early break in the decider to move him closer to the record, Nadal defeated his senior compatriot for the eighth time. After committing a double fault in the opening game of the match, Nadal lost service.
With a service victory in game two and an ace down the T line to prevent a break attempt at 2-1, Lopez solidified the lead. Rafa consistently provided solid holds, but he was unable to maintain a break and extend the set.
The 39-year-old held at love in game ten after a service winner to finish the opening set in 40 minutes without displaying any signs of nervousness.
In Paris 2020, Rafael Nadal became the fourth player with 1,000 ATP victories.
Rafa accelerated his tempo in the second set since there was no room for error.
In set number two, the record-seeker lost four points after the opening shot while creating five break chances to keep the pressure on the opposition. Lopez kept them alive and forced a tie break in an effort to win in straight sets and dampen Nadal‘s delight.
Rafa won the tiebreaker 7-5 to force a deciding and maintain his record-setting streak. In the opening game of the third set, the younger Spaniard secured a break at love and then successfully resisted two break attempts to find a comfortable rhythm.
After convincing holdings on both sides in the opening game, it proved to be pivotal, and Nadal surged ahead with a strong serve game at 5-4 to notch an incredible record. “The 1000th victory is amazing, but it makes me look old.
I am glad that I am there since I have played well for a very long time. I want to express my gratitude to everyone who has assisted me in getting to this point. It’s a unique occasion, and 1000 is a special number. It’s not the same to enjoy it alone, but the ATP representatives, the head of the French Federation, Guy Forget, and other people were present. They helped to make this occasion really memorable, and I want to thank them “said Rafael Nadal.