Tennis

Nadal victorious in his 1,000th match

Rafael Nadal celebrated his 1,000th tour-level match with a comeback win over German veteran Philipp Kohlschreiber to reach the fourth round of the Miami Open yesterday morning (Singapore time).

World No. 31 Kohlschreiber was on fire earlier, ripping through the first set in only 21 minutes, but fifth seed Nadal turned the match on its head to prevail 0-6, 6-2, 6-3 at Crandon Park.

It was the first time Nadal had failed to win a game in the first set of an ATP tour match since 2008, the ATP said.

The 30-year-old Spaniard ignited the near-capacity crowd with a typically determined comeback to clinch his 822nd career victory.

He joins a small group of 11 players headed by Jimmy Connors (1,535) to have played at least 1,000 matches.

"One thousand matches is a lot of matches. Obviously, that's good news because that says I am having a long career," Nadal said.

"(Previously,) I had 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."

Meanwhile, Kei Nishikori also took three sets and nearly three hours to beat Spain's Fernando Verdasco 7-6 (7/2), 6-7 (5/7), 6-1, while Milos Raonic withdrew before his match against American qualifier Jared Donaldson, blaming a hamstring injury. - REUTERS

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