Rafael Nadal recalls: 'This means I'm old'

Rafael Nadal recalls: ‘It means I’m old’

Rafael Nadal’s first ATP win came on his mainline debut at home in Mallorca in April 2002, still aged 15! Eighteen and a half years later, Rafa celebrated his 1000th ATP win at the 2020 Paris Masters. Rafa beat his compatriot Feliciano Lopez 4-6, 7-6, 6-4 in two and a half hours in the second round, creating a tremendous performance on his tally .

Nadal became the fourth player in the Open era with 1000 ATP wins after Jimmy Connors, Ivan Lendl and Roger Federer, remaining competitive for nearly two decades and joining other legends in a mighty feat. After the triumph, Rafa felt great about the performance and joked that he also felt old.

It was Nadal’s tenth win over the older compatriot, prevailing in set number two and earning an early break in set number three that propelled him towards the record. Nadal lost serve in the first game of the encounter after a double fault.

Lopez confirmed the advantage with a service winner in game two, saving a break chance at 2-1 with an ace on the T-line. Rafa delivered good hold after hold but couldn’t find a way to take a break and extend the set.

With no sign of nervousness, the 39-year-old held at love in game ten after a service winner to wrap up the opener in 40 minutes.

Rafael Nadal became the fourth player with 1000 ATP wins in Paris 2020.

With no room for error, Rafa upped his pace in the second set.

The record-seeker dropped four points from the initial shot in set number two, earning five break chances to keep the pressure on at the other end. Lopez saved her and achieved a tiebreak hoping to seal the deal in straight sets and spoil Nadal’s celebration.

Rafa clinched the breaker 7-5 to set a deciding set and stay on the record course. The younger Spaniard clinched a break of serve in the first game of the third set, fending off two break chances in the next game to set himself into a nice rhythm.

That opening game proved crucial after holds were commanded by both sides and Nadal went over the top on a solid hold at 5-4 to set a massive record. “The 1000th win is incredible, but it means I’m old.

I got there because I played well for a long time, which made me happy. I want to thank everyone who has helped me get to where I am now. It’s a special moment; 1000 is a unique number. It’s not the same to celebrate it without the crowd, but the ATP officials, French FA president Guy Forget and others were there with me. I want to thank them for making this moment very special,” said Rafael Nadal.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.