Rafael Nadal wins 1,000th ATP Tour match by beating Feliciano Lopez in Paris

Rafael Nadal made a bit of ATP Tour history with victory over compatriot Feliciano Lopez at the Paris Masters
Rafael Nadal made a bit of ATP Tour history with victory over compatriot Feliciano Lopez at the Paris Masters (AP)
23:06pm, Wed 04 Nov 2020
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Top seed Rafael Nadal came from behind to beat Feliciano Lopez and move into the third round of the Rolex Paris Masters with his 1,000th singles ATP Tour victory.

Spaniard Nadal, playing for the first time since his French Open triumph, fought back to defeat fellow countryman Lopez 4-6 6-4 6-2 in just over two-and-a-half hours on Wednesday.

The victory saw world number two Nadal, 34, becomes only the fourth player in the open era to pass the milestone – joining Jimmy Connors, Roger Federer and Ivan Lendl on the exclusive list.

“To achieve that number is because I have been playing well for a lot of years and is something that makes me feel happy,” Nadal told reporters afterwards at a virtual press conference.

“I just can say thank you very much to all the people that helped me and all the people that in any moment of my life helped me to be where I am.

“I know it is a very special number, 1,000. Even if it’s not the same to celebrate something like this without a crowd, I enjoy it with ATP, with the president of the French (Tennis) Federation, Guy Forget, supervisor and the ball boys.

“I enjoy it and just can say thanks to all of them to make this moment a little bit more special.”

Earlier, Alexander Zverev took less than an hour to beat Miomir Kecmanovic 6-2 6-2.

It was a ninth straight victory for the 23-year-old world number seven, who won the bett1HULKS Championships title in Cologne.

Zverev was playing for the first time since his ex-girlfriend Olga Sharypova accused him of serious physical assault, which the 2020 US Open runner-up responded to on social media as “unfounded accusations” and “simply untrue”.

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Following his win on Wednesday, Zverev told a virtual press conference: “I have said everything on my Instagram. There is nothing else I can add right now. I’m here. I’m here to play tennis. The relationship has been over for a very long time.

“I’m enjoying my time on court. I have said everything. They (allegations) are not true, and there is nothing more I can say right now.”

Zverev will next meet Adrian Mannarino for a place in the last eight, after the Frenchman battled past Yoshihito Nishioka 6-3 6-7 (5) 6-3.

Russian Daniil Medvedev, the tournament’s number three seed, was leading 5-2 in the first-set tie-break when South Africa’s Kevin Anderson was forced to retire because of a right leg injury.

Diego Schwartzman, aiming to clinch the last spot at the Nitto ATP Finals, also moved into round three with a 7-5 6-3 victory over Richard Gasquet.

Sixth seed Schwartzman will next face qualifier Alejandro Davidovich Fokina after the Spaniard’s 6-4 6-4 win over wildcard Benjamin Bonzi.

Fifth seed Andrey Rublev had little trouble as the Russian world number eight dispatched lucky loser Radu Albot in straight sets, 6-1 6-2.

Milos Raonic fired down 11 aces as he dispatched Frenchman Pierre-Hugues Herbert 6-4 6-4 and the Canadian 10th seed will play America’s Marcos Giron in the third round.

Canadian Milos Raonic was in good form at the Bercy Arena (AP)

Elsewhere in Wednesday’s later matches, Australia’s Jordan Thompson pulled off an unexpected victory over 15th seed Borna Coric.

The Australian came from behind to beat the world number 24 2-6 6-4 6-2 and secure a showdown against Nadal.

Australian number 16 seed Alex de Minaur beat Italian Lorenzo Sonego in straight sets, 6-3 7-5, and will play Medvedev in round three.

In the final match of the evening, 12th seed Stan Wawrinka battled past Tommy Paul, coming from behind to defeat the American 4-6 7-6 (3) 6-2.

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