TENNISWORLDUSA EXCLUSIVE - Feliciano Lopez: ´I feel very pleased and very proud of everything I´ve done´

Tennis - The world no. 24 came through a tough first round against Guillermo Garcia-Lopez in the Dubai Open

by Ronnie Rear
TENNISWORLDUSA EXCLUSIVE - Feliciano Lopez: ´I feel very pleased and very proud of everything I´ve done´

Though often underrated, Feliciano Lopez’s nonetheless is one of the more prominent faces on the ATP Tour, defining consistency and longevity in his own unique manner. The Spaniard, who’s seeded sixth at the Dubai Open this year, won his opening round match against compatriot Guillermo Garcia-Lopez in an exciting three-setter.
The Spaniard’s opponent in the next round could either be Lukas Rosol, or Indian top-seed Yuki Bhambri, a player, about whose playing style, Lopez went on to admit in the post-match press conference, he didn’t have much idea.

TennisWorldUSA caught up with the world no. 24, a two-time former finalist in Dubai to pick his thoughts on some of the most recent happenings in tennis, including the continuing slump of his countryman and Davis Cup teammate, Rafael Nadal.

Opening the conversation by speaking about the future of Spanish tennis, Lopez candidly admitted that Spanish tennis was in for a tougher haul in the days to come. “Well, the future is tough. I think this generation is about to finish in two-three years’ time and the young players we already have on the Tour, I don’t think they’re going to be as successful as we were,” he stated before firmly adding that this in no way meant the youngsters not being good enough.

“That means that our generation was too good. (I) am not saying that they are not good, or are not good players, but sports in general, in Spain, in the last 15 years, we were winning everything; in soccer, basketball and tennis.

So, now it’s going to be over and we have to work a lot in the future. But it’s going to be tough to keep winning and winning,” he clarified. While the possible status quo of the future of Spanish tennis can be accepted, it’s the current run of Rafael Nadal, who’s going through a bleak run-of-form that’s ironically inexplicable.

And where almost everyone has offered optimism and hope about Nadal’s resurgence, Lopez shared a different, matter-of-fact perspective on the topic. “I think Rafa’s really trying. He’s doing the right things he has to do in order to go back to the top; in order to play his best.

Obviously, this is not going to come from one day to another. It’s going to take time. When you’re someone who is used to win and win, and win; when you’re this kind of a player, who, you know, you win almost every tournament that you play, losing is not easy, no for these players to face the fact that they are losing more.

I think the confidence obviously is not going to be the same. (But) I think he’s playing better and I’m very confident in Rafa to hit his best again,” Lopez stated.

Feliciano Lopez Guillermo Garcia-Lopez