What Daniel Nestor calls one of his finest career moments came nearly 15 years ago, in the very same city, when he and Sébastien Lareau won the Olympic doubles gold medal.
The 43-year-old went full circle back to Sydney to reach another milestone Monday, as he earned career ATP Tour doubles win No. 1,000 in a 6-4, 6-4 win over former partner Leander Paes of India and Jérémy Chardy of France in the APIA International Sydney tournament.
For the week, Nestor is teamed up with current doubles No. 1 Marcelo Melo of Brazil, which makes almost poetic sense.
"He was talking about 999 a lot – 'I’m the first player to get to 999' – and he said 'it would be REALLY bad if I were to get injured or even die at this number,' " Nestor's wife Natasha said, laughing, in an interview with the ATP Tour.
Nestor's wife and two daughters made the long trip to Australia to see him do it and they planned to leave Monday as the Australian Open began, so the clock was ticking.
Nestor admitted it was hanging over his head a little bit. He first went for No. 1,000 at the Masters 1000 in Paris last fall, and had to wait the entire off-season before going out in the first round last week in Brisbane to Henri Kontinen and John Peers, with new 2016 partner Radek Stepanek.
"It was a little difficult, hanging over my head (since) Paris, in Bercy. But I thought both opponents I had before this one, our opponents played very well, and last week they won the tournament," Nestor said. "I’ve lost a lot over the years so I know what it’s like to have setbacks, after all these years on Tour."
Melo, the new No. 1 player, had been after Nestor in the past to team up, but Nestor went in other directions; Melo remained with partner Ivan Dodig of Croatia, and the two had great success at the end of last season.
Nestor announced in the interview that this season likely would be his last full one on Tour, although perhaps he would play a few events in 2017.
He has a few goals.
"I’d love to have one more Grand Slam, something like that," he said. "I don’t know if I’ll be able to compete in the Olympics this year, but it would nice one day to get a Davis Cup title also. But it’s going to have to come soon, these things, because time is running out for sure," he said.
Nestor also mentioned that he'd like to team up with some of the players he has battled hard against over the years, have them on the same side of the net, as he wraps things up. He got to play with Roger Federer in the IPTL exhibition league last fall, and teamed up with Andy Murray at the ATP Tour event in Washington, D.C.
"I’d like to take advantage over the next little while to have these opportunities," he said.