Rafael Nadal’s third round match against Philipp Kohlschreiber at the Miami Open was remarkable for two reasons. First, because he lost the opening set 6-0, something the 30-year-old has not done since the 2008 Chennai final against Mikhail Youzhny. Far more significantly, though, Nadal was playing in his 1,000th career singles match.
In notching up that extraordinary number, Nadal joins an illustrious ATP club that includes the likes of Jimmy Connors, Guillermo Vilas and Roger Federer. While he may rank eleventh on the list of total matches played, with 822 career victories to his name Nadal has a higher win percentage (82.19%) than anyone else in the ‘1000 club’.
It’s an outstanding achievement for a man who played – and won – his first professional match back in 2002 at the tender age of 15 years and 10 months. Ramon Delgado was his opponent at the Mallorcan Open, the young Spaniard overpowering the Paraguayan in a 6-4 6-4 win.
That victory was the beginning of something very special.
Nadal would go on to cement his name in the tennis history books with 14 Major titles, including nine French Open crowns, and a career Grand Slam by the age of 24. He won Olympic gold in singles at Beijing 2008, and in doubles at Rio 2016. And he has won 28 ATP Masters 1000 titles – second only to Novak Djokovic (30).
To give 1,000 career matches further context, it is the equivalent of playing a professional tennis match every day for three years straight. As a sporting equivalent, soccer player Cristiano Ronaldo – two years Nadal’s senior – has played 481 competitive club matches in his career. If you add Internationals to that tally he has played 618 competitive matches in total.
It is yet another spectacular achievement for a player who has helped to shape and define tennis around the world.
The ATP 1000 club
|Player||Matches played||Win-Loss record||Win percentage|
* This table tallies all singles matches that took part at Grand Slam, ATP, Davis Cup and World Championship Tennis (WCT) events
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