Nadal enters 1,000-wins club
Twenty-time Grand Slam champion Rafael Nadal has added yet another feather to his already illustrious cap by becoming only the fourth tennis player to register 1,000 Open Era single wins. It was the second milestone he reached in Paris this year, having won the French Open last month to tie Federer on 20 majors.
Paris: Twenty-time Grand Slam champion Rafael Nadal has added yet another feather to his already illustrious cap by becoming only the fourth tennis player to register 1,000 Open Era single wins. It was the second milestone he reached in Paris this year, having won the French Open last month to tie Federer on 20 majors.
On Wednesday, Nadal defeated Feliciano Lopez 4-6, 7-6 (5), 6-4 to reach the third round of the ongoing Paris Masters. But while 1,000 fans cheered him at Roland Garros, none were at the Bercy Arena."(Winning 1,000 matches) means that I am old. 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 (that) is something that makes me feel happy," Nadal was quoted as saying by the ATP Tour website.
The 34-year-old's first win came in May 2002 at the age of 15, when he beat Paraguayan Ramon Delgado in the first round at Mallorca. A year later, the 16-year-old Nadal stunned the tennis world by beating French Open champion Albert Costa under floodlights in the second round at the Monte Carlo Masters. By the age of 24, he had already reached 500 wins. His career tally also includes 35 Masters titles and 86 tournament victories overall.
The 39-year-old Lopez won their first meeting back in 2003 and had beaten Nadal four times overall. He had 22 aces and troubled a sluggish Nadal, who failed to convert six break points in the second set but broke immediately at the start of the third.
"I started the match the worst way possible, especially against a big server like Feli," Nadal said. "After that I played under a lot of pressure the rest of the match, but I found a way."
The 13-time Roland Garros champion Nadal, who has never won this tournament, next plays Jordan Thompson of Australia, who upset 15th-seeded Croat Borna Coric 2-6, 6-4, 6-2, for a place in the quarter-finals. The 2007 runner-up has reached the quarter-finals or better in each of his previous seven tournament appearances.
Alexander Zverev joined Nadal in the third round by beating Miomir Kecmanovic 6-2, 6-2. The fourth-seeded German did not face a break point against the 42nd-ranked Serb. Zverev hit eight aces and converted his first match point. Chasing a third title of the year, he next faces Adrian Mannarino of France.
Fifth-seeded Andrey Rublev easily won 6-1, 6-2 against Radu Albot for a tour-leading 40th win of the year, moving one ahead of top-ranked Novak Djokovic. Rublev won the Erste Bank Open in Vienna last Sunday for a tour-leading fifth title of the season and next plays three-time Grand Slam champion Stan Wawrinka. The 12th-seeded Swiss won 4-6, 7-6 (3), 6-2 against unseeded American Tommy Paul.
Meanwhile, No. 3 Russian Daniil Medevev advanced after Kevin Anderson retired when trailing 5-2 in the first-set tiebreaker because of a right leg injury. No. 6 Diego Schwartzman beat Frenchman Richard Gasquet 7-5, 6-3, keeping the Argentine on course to clinch the final spot for the Nov. 15-22 ATP Finals in London. He can guarantee that by reaching the semifinals in Paris.
No. 10 Milos Raonic also advanced by winning 6-4, 6-4 against Frenchman Pierre-Hugues Herbert. The big-serving Canadian, a runner-up here in 2014, had 11 aces and concluded with a sliced volley at the net. He next faces American Marcos Giron. No. 16 Alex de Minaur also advanced with a 6-3, 7-5 win over Italian Lorenzo Sonego — the runner-up to Rublev last Sunday. (IANS/PTI)