“I can thank all the people who helped me and all the people who helped me stay where I am at any moment in my life.”
Natalie’s first ATP victory came when she was 15 years old. In the first round match at the Mallorca Open in 2002, Paraguayan Ramon Delgado was ranked 81st in the world, winning 15 ATP rating points and 8,550 checks.
Eighteen years, and a prize money of nearly 2 122 million, then Nadal became one of the most successful tennis players in history.
At last month’s French Open, Federer recorded 20 Grand Slam victories.
This is Natalie’s first round appearance since claiming her record – long 13th title at Roland Carros.
“I started the competition the worst way, especially against a big server like Feli,” Nadal said. “After that, I played under a lot of pressure for the rest of the tournament, but I found a way.
“That’s the main thing … I’m so proud of this win. Personal satisfaction can sometimes be greater when you win these matches than when you go to court and win 6-3 6-3.”
In the next round Nadal will face Jordan Thompson as the Australian team marches from one set, beating Borna’s claim 2-6 6-4 6-2 in the set.
Despite his many successes on the clay courts in Paris, Nadal is aiming to win his first Paris Masters title.