Wednesday was a marquee day at the 2020 Paris Masters with No. 1 seed Rafael Nadal making his first appearance of the tournament.
Nadal returned to the court three weeks after winning the French Open. He won each of his seven matches at Roland Garros in straight sets, including defeating top-seeded Novak Djokovic in the final.
The path for Nadal to win this event for the first time in his career opened up with No. 2 seed Stefanos Tsitsipas being upset on Tuesday by Ugo Humbert. The Spanish star showed some rust against Feliciano Lopez, dropping the first set and surviving a second-set tiebreak to avoid an early exit.
2020 Paris Masters Results - Wednesday, Nov. 4
No. 1 Rafael Nadal def. Feliciano Lopez 4-6, 7-6(5), 6-4
No. 3 Daniil Medvedev def. Kevin Anderson 6-6 (Retired)
No. 4 Alexander Zverev def. Miomir Kecmanovic 6-2, 6-2
No. 5 Andrey Rublev def. Radu Albot 6-1, 6-2
No. 6 Diego Schwartzman def. Richard Gasquet 7-5, 6-3
No. 10 Milos Raonic def. Pierre-Hugues Herbert 6-4, 6-4
No. 12 Stan Wawrinka def. Tommy Paul 4-6, 7-6(3), 6-2
Jordan Thompson def. No. 15 Borna Coric 2-6, 6-4, 6-2
No. 16 Alex De Minaur def. Lorenzo Sonego 6-3, 7-5
Marin Cilic def. Corentin Moutet (Walkover)
Alejandro Davidovich Fokina def. Benjamin Bonzi 6-4, 6-4
Adrian Mannarino def. Yoshihito Nishioka 6-3, (5)6-7, 6-3
2020 Paris Masters Schedule - Thursday, Nov. 5
No. 1 Rafael Nadal vs. Jordan Thompson
No. 3 Daniil Medvedev vs. No. 16 Alex De Minaur
No. 4 Alexander Zverev vs. Adrian Mannarino
No. 5 Andrey Rublev vs. No. 12 Stan Wawrinka
No. 6 Diego Schwartzman vs. Alejandro Davidovich Fokina
No. 9 Pablo Carreno Busta vs. Norbert Gombos
No. 10 Milos Raonic vs. Marcos Giron
Marin Cilic vs. Ugo Humbert
Full schedule via ATPTour.com
Coming out of the gate with a match against Lopez seemed like a difficult draw for Nadal. Lopez won the last two matches against his fellow countryman, though this was their first head-to-head meeting since 2015.
Lopez was on point in the first set with eight aces. He went 14-of-15 on first-serve points and had a 144 return rating, compared to 57 for Nadal.
Things started to turn around for Nadal in the second set. He rebounded with nine aces, zero double-faults and showed off his quick-twitch reflexes when Lopez tried to sneak a return shot past him.
The service game remained an advantage for Nadal in the third set. The 13-time French Open champion converted his lone break-point opportunity and saved the two break-point chances Lopez had against him.
Nadal became the fourth player in the Open Era to reach 1,000 career match victories on the ATP Tour.
No. 3 seed Daniil Medvedev also made his tournament debut on Wednesday. He didn't spend much time on the court because Kevin Anderson was forced to retire late in the first set with an undisclosed injury.
Anderson defeated Medvedev when they met in the quarterfinals of the Erste Bank Open last week. This marks the Russian's first appearance in the third round at the Paris Masters in his career.
After reaching the French Open semifinals for the first time in his career, Diego Schwartzman overcame a slow start to knock off Richard Gasquet in his first match of the week.
Gasquet's serve was working against him on Wednesday. The 34-year-old had his serve broken in the final game of the first set, putting him in a hole that he was unable to dig out of. He also finished the match with three double-faults to give Schwartzman easy points.
Another player who had little trouble in his first match of the tournament was Alexander Zverev. The No. 4 seed lost a total of four games in his 6-2, 6-2 win over Miomir Kecmanovic that took 55 minutes.
Zverev arrived in France coming off back-to-back victories in Germany before coming to France. He finished with eight aces against Kecmanovic.
Milos Raonic is off to a hot start after getting his second consecutive straight-set win. He sent Pierre-Hugues Herbert home after a 6-4, 6-4 victory. The 29-year-old is looking for his first career win in this tournament after previously reaching the final in 2014.
Raonic continues to dominate his opponents on serve. After hitting 18 aces in the first round against Aljaz Bedene, he racked up 11 more on Wednesday against Herbert. He hit 66 percent of his first serves in and won 89 percent of first-serve points.
No. 12 seed Stan Wawrinka had a rough start, dropping the first set to American Tommy Paul and going to a tiebreak in the second. He stepped up to win the second set, gaining the momentum needed to win the third with ease.
Wawrinka saved 11 of 16 break points in a sloppy match, but he did enough to advance to the round of 16.