Becoming only the fourth man to reach 1,000 wins should have drawn deafening cheers and a standing ovation for tennis great, Rafael Nadal.
Instead, he reached his milestone amid a cathedral-like silence Wednesday in a 20,000-seat stadium that was completely empty because of the coronavirus pandemic. There was only a fist-bump from Feliciano Lopez, after Nadal beat him 4-6, 7-6 (7-5), 6-4 in a subdued atmosphere more worthy of a library study area than a sports arena.
“The real feeling, the personal feeling is completely different,” Nadal said. “It makes a big difference that the court is empty.”