Nadal comes back from a set down to defeat Lopez at Paris Masters

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Rafael Nadal overcomes Feliciano Lopez in three sets at the Paris Masters on Wednesday. Nadal will meet Jordan Thompson in the third round.
  • Rolex Paris Masters, second round

  • Nadal d. Lopez 4-6, 7-6(5), 6-4

  • Key info: An awesome display by both players saw a total of 38 aces hit over the three sets.
  • You will also learn: Nadal ended a two-match losing streak against his fellow Spaniard.
  • Why you should read this story: It was a surprisingly dramatic opening match in Paris for Nadal.

Rafael Nadal has rarely had an easy time with Feliciano Lopez, and more of the same continued in round two of the Rolex Paris Masters on Wednesday evening. Nadal dropped the first set and was three points from defeat in the second before recovering for a three-set victory after two hours and 30 minutes.

Lopez comes out firing

Lopez had defeated Nadal in each of their previous two meetings, so the 39-year-old understandably came out of the gates with plenty of confidence. He also struck 21 aces and won all of his first-serve points against Filip Krajinovic on Monday, surely making Lopez all the more encouraged about his chances. He played like it in the opening set against Nadal, striking eight aces, winning 14 of 15 first-serve points, and saving the only break point he faced. As such, one break was enough for Lopez to build a one-set lead.

Nadal finally gets momentum

Nadal had plenty of chances in the second to take it before a tiebreaker became necessary, but his opponent fought off five more break points. The No 1 seed dominated on his own serve, though, dropping only four points in six service games. That led to a ‘breaker, in which the decisive moment came at 3-3. Nadal seized a mini-break at 3-3 with a strong forehand return followed by a winning drop volley, and that proved to be the only point out of 12 that did not go to the serve.

Fight to the finish

With momentum in hand, Nadal seized a break right away in the third. The second-ranked Spaniard consolidated his 1-0 lead the whole way, saving two break points in the process. At 5-4, Nadal double-faulted at 15-0 but eventually built a 40-15 cushion and then converted his third match point.

The 34-year-old finished with an impressive 16 aces, while Lopez struck 22 aces but also double-faulted seven times. Next up for Nadal is Jordan Thompson, a surprising three-set winner over Borna Coric.

It was also the 1,000th career ATP Tour match victory for Nadal.

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