Rafael Nadal Joins 1,000 Wins Club at ATP Level
As one of the most successful and reputable players of all-time, Rafael Nadal needs no introduction. His dominant performance across Grand Slams in the mid-00s and beyond has set him up as a genuine sporting legend. Indeed, he’s even shared some unique moments – including being one of the few non-football staff to be in the dressing room after his home nation, Spain, won the 2010 FIFA World Cup. However, the Spaniard now has another amazing record to add to his glowing collection.
Now, with a win in the Paris Masters, Nadal can boast a wonderful record of 1,000 wins at ATP Tour match level. This is an incredible victory, and a milestone that very few players – even elite players – can get near to achieving. For Nadal, it’s further proof his quality, his development as a player, and his ability to continue growing as a professional.
Nadal is currently fourth on the list of all-time wins in the ATP Tour reckoning. The top of the list is Jimmy Connors, who won a whopping 1,274 matches at this level. Roger Federer, the timeless Swiss legend of the sport, has claimed 1,242 wins. Ivan Lendl, the famous Czech player and coach, hit over 1,000, ending at 1,068.
For Nadal, it’s another clear sign that his star is still on the rise. The 2010s has seen the legend miss out on more matches and trophies than many would have expected. Injuries and other issues have slowed down a career that looked certain to end as one of the best of all-time. At the age of 34, though, Nadal looks to be entering a rare run of form.
‘I must have done a lot of things well’
While few players reach this level of success, many expected Nadal to go down as an all-time great from his earliest trophy wins. Having overcome many injuries and issues over his career, though, Nadal has made clear one thing: he is proud, happy, to be where he is as a player at this moment in time. Speaking after the match-up – a victory over fellow Spaniard Feliciano Lopez – Nadal said: “To arrive at that number I must have done a lot of things well,”
And when he was quizzed about whether his longevity was something to be proud of, he remarked: “Probably yes. I have faced some challenges in my career in terms of injuries. It’s a privilege to be playing at the age of 34 – but it’s not just me, it’s the whole team and family.”
For a player who has achieved so much, then, it is interesting to see that Nadal has still got the drive – and the humility – to keep on going. His first win came in 2002 when he defeated Ramon Delgado of Paraguay. After the win, in the First Round of the Mallorca Open – his home tournament – many were excited about the future of this young Spaniard. Few, though, would have imagined he would have achieved such lofty heights in the sport.