Rafael Nadal has joined an elite team of tennis stars…
The 30-year-old Spanish tennis star celebrated his 1,000th tour level match by beating German veteran Philipp Kohlschreiber in a topsy-turvy, come-from-behind victory at the Miami Open.
Nadal is safely through to the fourth round, despite failing to win a game in a stunning first set. Luckily, he recovered to prevail 0-6, 6-2, 6-3.
Kohlschreiber was unstoppable in the early stages and romped through the opening set in just 21 minutes.
It was the first time Nadal had failed to win a game in the first set of an ATP Tour encounter since 2008.
But the fifth seed was undaunted and fought back in determined fashion to claim the 822nd win of his illustrious career and a last-16 tmatch against France’s Nicolas Mahut, who beat Guido Pella 6-4 6-3.
Nadal joins an 11-strong group headed by Jimmy Connors (1,535) to have played at least 1,000 matches on tour.
“One thousand matches is a lot of matches,” said Nadal afterwards. “Obviously that’s good news, because that says I am having a long career.
“During a lot of years, I heard that I’m going to have a short career, so it’s something important for me.
“I remember the first match very well because it was at home in Mallorca. It was my first victory on the ATP and was a great feeling.”