'Oh my God': Fans erupt over 'ridiculous' Rafael Nadal drama

Sam Goodwin
·Sports Editor
·4-min read
Rafael Nadal, pictured here in action against Feliciano Lopez at the Paris Masters.
Rafael Nadal was forced to come from behind to beat Feliciano Lopez at the Paris Masters. Image: Tennis TV/Getty

Tennis fans couldn’t believe what they were seeing on Wednesday as Rafael Nadal dropped the first set to Feliciano Lopez at the Paris Masters.

Looking to secure the 1000th victory of his storied career, the Spaniard made a slow start and found himself staring down the barrel of a shock loss.

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After losing the first set 6-4, Nadal was pushed to a tiebreaker in the second set with Lopez on the verge of an almighty upset.

However Nadal showed his class to prevail in the breaker (7-5), before taking the third set and the match 6-4.

The 34-year-old Nadal, bidding for a first Paris Masters title, will face Jordan Thompson in the third round after the Australian beat Croatia’s Borna Coric 2-6, 6-4, 6-2.

Taking the trophy in Paris this week would see Nadal equal Novak Djokovic’s record of 36 Masters titles.

He struggled to find his rhythm for much of the match as 39-year-old Lopez served excellently, saving the first six break points he faced, but Nadal stepped it up in the second-set tie-break.

The top seed grabbed the crucial break in the first game of the decider and then eased to victory after saving two break points himself in the next game.

“It was a very tough match,” said Nadal. “I started in the worst way possible with a break.

“Against him, that’s difficult because you’re under pressure for the whole match.”

Fans were left shocked by Nadal’s early dramas, before erupting over his comeback win.

Nadal joins illustrious club with 1000 wins

Nadal became just the fourth man in history to reach that 1000-win mark with his comeback win.

“I am proud about a lot of things, but I faced some challenges in my career in terms of body injuries,” said Nadal.

“But I always had the passion to keep going and the humility to keep going when things are going in a way you don't expect.

“It’s a great achievement for me.”

Nadal, whose first match win on the ATP Tour came in April 2002 when he was just 15, is fourth on the all-time list, with Jimmy Connors leading the way on 1274 victories, 32 more than second-placed Roger Federer.

Rafael Nadal, pictured here with a trophy celebrating his 1000th career victory.
Rafael Nadal poses with a trophy celebrating his 1000th career victory. (Photo by FRANCK FIFE/AFP via Getty Images)

“One negative thing about getting to 1000 is that you’re very old as it means you have to have had a very long career,” added Nadal.

“But I'm very happy.”

Ivan Lendl also passed the 1000-win barrier.

Nadal was given a special presentation to celebrate his achievement after the match in a near-empty Bercy Arena, with the event being played behind closed doors after France entered its second coronavirus lockdown last week.

The World No.2 is playing the tournament for the eighth time in his career, but he pulled out midway through his last two appearances due to injury.

His best run at Bercy was when he lost in the 2007 final to Argentinian David Nalbandian.

with AFP

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