He returned from a behind set against Feliciano Lopez in the second round of Paris Masters to win 4-6 7-6 (7-5) 6-4, joining Jimmy Connors, Roger Federer and Evan Lindel in 1000 exclusive wins. Club.
It all began in 2002 when 15-year-old Nadal defeated Paraguay Ramon Delgado in the first round of the Mallorca Open.
And it was somewhat fitting that his 1000th victory was in the tournament-hosting city as he won 13 Grand Slam titles.
A hundred of those victories came at the Roland Garros tournament – the last of which, at Novak Djokovic’s expense, equates to Federer’s historic Grand Slam record.
But how did he collect the rest of them?
The players he defeated the most
It wouldn’t come as a surprise that Federer and Djokovic’s greatest rivals were among the most defeated players, given the extent of their regular confrontations, with Djokovic finishing first.
Nadal beat the Serbian world number 1 27 times, although Djokovic scored 29 victories against the left-hander from Spain.
Djokovic succeeds his compatriot David Ferrer, who lost 26 defeats with only six victories, while Federer lost 24 times to 16 victories.
Nadal’s most defeated opponents
27 – Djokovic
26 – Ferrer
20 – Berdych
19 – Wawrinka
17 – Murray
16 – Gasquet
Thomas Berdych is the only other player who has been hit by Nadal 20 or more times – and has won four encounters – with Andy Murray (17-7), Stan Wawrinka (19-3) and Fernando Verdasco (17-3) with a heavy head. – Head of losses for the world No. 2.
There is nothing as bad as poor Richard Gasquet, yet the Frenchman lost all 16 of his encounters with Nadal.
Nadal, nicknamed “The King of Clay”, has won 445 out of 485 matches on his favorite rooftop, but he’s actually had more difficult victories during his career.
This isn’t a big surprise considering that the majority of the season is played on solid ground and his 482 wins came from 617 games.
He had two wins on the carpet – against Radek Stepanek in the Davis Cup in 2004 and Ivo Karlovic in Milan the same year – and 71 on the grass.
Nadal’s notable victories
1: Ramon Delgado 6-4 6-4 – Mallorca R1, 2002
100: Hugo Armando 6-1 6-2 Stuttgart 2 2005
200: Juan Martin Del Potro 6-0 6-4 Miami Fourth Round, 2007
300: Ivo Karlovic 6-7 7-6 7-6 – Queens QF, 2008
400: Thomas Berdych 7-5 6-0 6-2 – Davis Cup, 2009
500: Evan Dodge 6-4 6-2 Barcelona SF, 2011
600: Juan Martin Del Potro 4-6 6-3 6-4 – Indian Wells F, 2013
700: Martin Klizan 4-6 6-3 6-3 6-3 Wimbledon 1st round, 2014
800: Thomaz Bellucci 2-6 6-4 6-2 – Rio Olympics QF, 2016
900: Richard Gasquet 6-3 6-2 6-2 – French Open Tournament 3, 2018
1000: Feliciano Lopez 4-6 7-6 6-4 – Paris R2, 2020
The longest and shortest matches
Nadal’s fastest regular-tour win – which did not come by retirement – came at 46 minutes in 2008.
In the second round of the Cincinnati Masters, poor Florent Serra scored just 20 points in a 6–0, 6-1 demolition mission at the hands of World No. 2.
At Grand Slam level, it took him just 90 minutes to beat Georgian Nikoloz Basilashvili 6-0, 6-1, 6-0 at the 2017 French Open.
At the other end of the spectrum, it took Nadal five hours and 14 minutes to bid farewell to Guillermo Correa in the 2005 Roma Masters Final.
At the age of 18, Nadal was trailing 0-3 in the fifth set but recovered to win 6-4 3-6 6-3 4-6 7-6 (8-6) in a grueling saga to claim his second title in the 1000 Masters Tournament.
Correa laughed after the match, “I’m a little dissatisfied because I only run for five hours and lose two points. So I’m very disappointed.
But Nadal played longer matches as he finished on the losing side.
Djokovic is best known for hitting him in five hours and 53 minutes in the final of the 2012 Australian Open.
The 5-7 6-4 6-2 6-7 7-5 win was the longest-running match in Grand Slam Final history.
Who is left to arrest?
Only Lendl, Federer and Connors are ahead of Nadal in terms of match wins.
Of these, 34-year-old Lendl will be the most likely to catch him.
The Czech had 68 wins ahead of Nadal – the exact number Nadal had in 2017 alone.
Players who scored more than 900 ATP rounds win
1,274 – Connors
1068 – Lindel
1,000 – Nadal
951 – Villas
932 – Djokovic
905 – Nastas
Federer (1242) – who hopes to add to his collection next year – and Connors (1274) will be more difficult to catch up.
In five seasons between 2015 and 2019, Nadal won 271 games, which leaves him three games away from Connors’ aggregate.
But as Federer approaches his 40th year, there may be some hope that Nadal will continue to underestimate that figure if he decides to play for a similar amount of time.
Djokovic is not too far from the 1000 Club. He needs 68 more wins to achieve the feat. Even in these most tumultuous years, he has racked up 39 wins and can still add to that total in the ATP Finals at the end of the season.
A new record is coming next week
While Nadal will set his sights on becoming the ultimate men’s Grand Slam captain in 2021, he will set a new record on Monday.
Having equaled Jimmy Connors remaining in the top ten in the ATP Ranking on Monday, he will overtake the great American player next week.
Most of the consecutive weeks are in the top ten as of Monday, November 9th
790 – Nadal
789 – Connors
619 – Lindel
Nadal has been in the top ten over the past fifteen years since the breakout in 2005.
Connors, who spent 789 weeks in the top ten, also spent fifteen years at the top of the sport.
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