Lopez Completes Dream Week With Double Titles At Queen’s
Things hadn’t been going particularly well for 37-year-old Feliciano Lopez this year. He fellto an ATP ranking of 113 and had won just 3 tour level matches in 2019. However, that all changed this week as Lopez stormed to both the singles and doubles title at Queen’s club, capping off what will surely go down as the best week of his career.
Lopez’s ranking was not enough to gain automatic entry into the Queen’s club draw but as the 2017 champion, he was given a wildcard, which he made full use of, spending more than 15 hours on court this week on his way to both titles. Lopez beat fellow veteran Gilles Simon 6-3 6-7 7-6 in a testing men’s final, before coming through another epic, beating Joe Salisbury and Rajeev Ram 7-6 6-7 10-5 alongside a returning Andy Murray to win the doubles final. Murray could not have hoped for a better partner to make his comeback with and will surely be now questioning why he has opted for different partners for Eastbourne and Wimbledon, considering the Murray Lopez partnership has a 100%-win record.
“I’ve enjoyed it, I felt very relaxed at the beginning of the week, then I started getting more nervous as the week continued and my competitive instincts were kicking in,” said Murray.“My hip felt great, there was no pain.” “
It happens maybe once in a lifetime, with how difficult it is to win the singles, I cannot believe I won both,” Lopez told BBC Sport.
Lopez’s ranking in singles will skyrocket 60 places up to 53 in the world, and his performance at Queen’s this week may earn him a seeding in Wimbledon’s unique system of deciding seedings, which takes into consideration both ranking and recent grass court performance. For Murray, this week has shown a return to tennis in some capacity will be possible. However, Murray has made it clear that returning to singles is his ultimate goal and he is planning to return to singles action after the US Open. Whether or not this will be possible is not clear at this stage.
Meanwhile, another 37-year-old in the shape of Roger Federer won the title in Halle this week, beating an in-form David Goffin 7-6 6-1 in the final to win for a record 10th time at the newly renamed Noventi Open. Federer joins Rafael Nadal as the only man in the open era ever to win 10 times at one event, and has claimed his 102nd ATP title, edging ever closer to Jimmy Connors’ record 109 titles.
“It’s amazing. For some reason I didn’t think I was going to make it anymore. Didn’t think of it much. I just thought match-for-match because the second round and quarters were so tough that I never really thought about how it would feel if I won and now it’s reality, [It’s the] first time ever I could win a title 10 times in one place, so it’s obviously a very special moment in my career” said Federer.
For Federer, this was the ideal preparation for Wimbledon. He was beaten in the Halle final by Borna Coric last year and looked out of sorts all week, which manifested itself in a quarter-final exit to Kevin Anderson at Wimbledon. However, Federer looks in better form this time around and has marked himself as a strong contender for the title at SW19.
Written by Emre Saridogan