Rafael Nadal reached his 90th Masters 1000 quarter-final in Rome 2019, looking good to celebrate the milestone 100th at some point in 2020. However, Rafa reached only seven quarter-finals in the past three years, standing at 99 and waiting until 2023 to become the first player with 100 Masters 1000 quarter-finals! Nadal’s first Masters 1000 quarter-final came in Miami 2005 at 18. It could have come earlier, but the Spaniard struggled with injuries in 2004 and did not play at his best. Everything worked well for Rafa at the start of 2005, and he reached his first Masters 1000 final in Florida, standing two points from beating Roger Federer. Nadal would reach four more quarter-finals by the end of the season, conquering all those tournaments and finishing with incredible four Masters 1000 trophies! Rafa added five more quarter-finals in 2006 and counted eight in 2007 and 2008!
Rafael Nadal will seek his 100th Masters 1000 quarter-final in 2023.
Nadal was already among the finest Masters 1000 players by 22, and things would only become greater for him after reaching all nine quarter-finals in 2009! Nadal had notable runs in 2010 and 2011 before slowing down a bit in 2012, with four quarter-finals on his tally. Rafa made an incredible comeback in 2013 and claimed four consecutive Masters 1000 titles. The upcoming three seasons could have been better for the grand champion, who struggled with injuries and barely stayed inside the top-10. Nadal collected seven quarter-finals in 2017 and grabbed six in 2019.
As we already said, Rafa notched seven quarter-finals since 2020, and the last one in Madrid this May was his 99th! The Spaniard had three chances to secure the 100th by the end of the season, but he missed it in Rome, Cincinnati and Paris. Rafa came to the French capital after eight consecutive quarter-finals at this event, hoping for another and a huge record. Instead, he fell in the second round to Tommy Paul in three sets. The Spaniard competed for the first time in almost two months and built a set and a break lead. However, Paul bounced back and scored a 3-6, 7-6, 6-1 triumph in two and a half hours. Nadal missed his chances in the second set and stood powerless in the decider, getting broken three times and hitting the exit door in his worst Paris Masters result.