Nadal reaches 1000
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Rafa Nadal marched onto the stadium court at Crandon Park ,in the third round of the Miami Masters, with a sense of purpose for a victory would be his 1,000th career win on the ATP Tour.
One thousand matches is a lot of matches
Standing in his way was Germanys Philpp Kohlschreiber who came close to humiliating the Spaniard with his powerful play as he swamped Nadal in the opening set by inflicting bagel on the Mallorcan superstar!
But Nadal was not to be denied. He dug deep and fought back in his inimitable manner to claw his way back into the match to eventually run out a comfortable 0-6 6-2 6-3 winner to not only reach that career milestone and become the 11th player to do so, but also inflict his 14th win over the German.
“One thousand matches is a lot of matches,” Nadal acknowledged 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.”
Reflecting on the actual match, Nadal added: “He was doing everything good, so that’s sport. I lose the set because he was playing too good. That’s it.
“But a match is long and the positive thing is I held the pressure well this afternoon, after a very tough first set.
“I resisted well in the first few games of the second set and then I think I played a great second and third set.”
In other matches, Kei Nishikori outlasted Fernando Verdasco over a three-hour marathon 7-6(2) 6-7(5) 6-1 squandering a match point when serving for the second set.
The Japanese faces next Argentinas Federico Delbonis who in turn took out Jan-Lennard Struf of Germany 7-6(5) 6-1.
Milos Raonic was forced to withdraw from the event with a recurrence of a hamstring injury which has plagued him over recent months.
“It is the same muscle in the hamstring, it got progressively worse after my first round and after practising yesterday [Saturday], it was not possible to compete today without putting myself at significant risk,” said the big Canadian, who was due to face American qualifier Jared Donaldson.
In other games, Donald Young upset Benoit Paire 7-6(2) 6-4 while Nicolas Mahut came through against Guido Pella 6-4 6-3 to reach the fourth round where a certain Rafa Nadal awaits to possibly score is 1001st victory!
Also through to the next round are American Jack Sock and Italys Fabio Fognini who recovered well to beat Jeremy Chardy over three sets.