• Nadal lost to Tommy Paul in his opening round at Paris Masters
  • It was Nadal's first appearance since becoming a father
  • Nadal will next play in the ATP Tour Finals

World No. 2 Rafael Nadal registered an unwanted record after his exit from Paris Masters on Wednesday.

Playing in his first game since the US Open, Nadal suffered a second-round defeat to American player Tommy Paul, who came back from a set down to beat the 22-time Grand Slam champion.

This is the first time Nadal has lost to three American opponents in a single ATP season. Earlier this year, the Spaniard lost to Taylor Fritz in the final of Indian Wells and then to Francis Tiafoe in the US Open's Round of 16.

Notably, Nadal lost to an American player just once from 2012 to 2021, which does not include Laver Cup games.

Ahead of the Paris Masters event, Nadal, who has battled a chronic injury and abdominal issue through the summer, was aiming to end the year as the top-ranked player. However, the defeat has dented his chances further.

The second-round fixture at Paris Masters was also Nadal's first appearance since becoming a father.

Spain's Rafael Nadal will chase a fifth US Open crown -- in a draw without Novak Djokovic -- but there are concerns about his fitness

Nadal will next be in action in the ATP Tour Finals, the final tournament of the year, which will be played in Turin.

In a post-match interview, Nadal admitted he would reach Turin early for the tournament.

"I need to play sets against the best players, to feel myself again competitive against everyone. I'm going to try to make that happen. And if not, I will prepare to have the best possible season next year," Nadal said.

Meanwhile, after beating Nadal on Wednesday, World No. 31 Paul said it was his "best win."

"It's probably my best win. I was obviously pumped for the matchup because it's always interesting when you play one of the Big Three. I've only played him the second time, but the first time I was so nervous. It was weird, this time I wasn't really nervous. I was pretty relaxed going onto the court and the day before. I think that played a role. I came out playing pretty well. He got the first set, but I feel like I played pretty well from the jump," Paul told ATP.