‘Passion and love for tennis’ key to special career milestone, says Rafael Nadal

Rafael Nadal says his passion for tennis is the reason for him joining the exclusive 1000 club on the ATP Tour.

Nadal overcame a bad start to beat compatriot Feliciano Lopez at the Paris Masters on Wednesday to become just the fourth man in history – after Jimmy Connors, Ivan Lendl, and Roger Federer – to amass 1000 wins on the ATP Tour.

He, though, says his passion for tennis, not necessarily his talent, has been the key factor in his latest achievement.

“I faced issues in terms of injuries during different parts of my career but I always hold the passion and the love to keep doing what I do,” Nadal said. “That is to play tennis.

“I was able to keep being hungry to keep going and be humble enough to accept the challenges, to accept that in some moments things were not going the way that I expected.’

“I always had great help with great people around me and great family. Without them, of course, it would be impossible.”

Asked what the record means in real terms, Nadal took a more light-hearted approach, saying: “It means that I am old and that I have played well for such a very long time!

“To achieve that number is something that makes me feel happy. I know is a very special number, 1000.

“Even if it’s not the same to celebrate something like this without a crowd, I enjoy it with ATP, the president of the French Federation, Guy Forget, supervisor, and the ball boys.

“I enjoy it and thank all of them for making this moment a little bit more special.”

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