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'Playing Rafael Nadal is always special - he may be the best in history,' says Feliciano Lopez

Rafael Nadal Paris Masters

Feliciano Lopez says it was special to be the opponent as Rafael Nadal registered his 1000th career win in Paris. 

Only three other players have ever amassed over 1000 wins on the ATP Tour, highlighting his status as an unquestioned great of tennis.

And, despite losing the match, compatriot Lopez was happy he could be involved in the moment.

"I was excited because playing against Rafa for me is always special and even more so now that I am 39 years old and I value this type of game more," Lopez said.

Rafael Nadal 1000 wins

"I keep pushing myself every day to play those games. I was able to push him to the limit and I felt competitive against the number two in the world and possibly the best in history.

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"That means a lot to me because it gives me the hope of continuing another year playing tennis.

"And then there's the emotional side of being in your 1,000th win. It was a shame to play in an empty stadium.

"Going out to play against Rafael Nadal in an empty stadium is harder than against any other player because these matches are lived with great emotion, the stands are full, the atmosphere is brutal.

"Under the circumstances we had, I enjoyed it the most."

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