Watch: Rafael Nadal supports his great friend from the stands

Rafael Nadal watched Feliciano Lopez's match in Mallorca on Tuesday

by Jovica Ilic
Watch: Rafael Nadal supports his great friend from the stands

Rafael Nadal can not compete at the home ATP 250 event in Mallorca due to an ongoing hip injury. However, a 22-time Major winner took the opportunity and visited the event on Tuesday, watching what could have potentially been Feliciano Lopez's final match in a career.

The veteran received a wild card in Mallorca, competing at his last ATP event and in front of his good friend and Davis Cup teammate Nadal. Feliciano refused to retire, beating Max Purcell 6-3, 7-5 in an hour and 20 minutes for his 505th ATP victory.

At 41 years and nine months, Feliciano is the third-oldest player with an ATP win since 1990, trailing only Jimmy Connors and Ivo Karlovic. Also, Lopez landed 11 aces against Purcell, standing on 10,244 and passing Goran Ivanisevic's 10,237.

The home star lost three points behind the first serve and defended four out of five break points, all in the opening two service games. The Aussie could not follow that pace despite a solid effort in set number two, getting broken three times and experiencing an early exit.

Rafael Nadal watched Feliciano Lopez's match in Mallorca on Tuesday.

Lopez made the worst start and faced three break points in the encounter's first game. He hit a double fault on the third to lose serve and push the rival in front.

Suddenly, the veteran broke back at 15 in game two after a smash winner before facing two more break points in game three. Feliciano denied them with winners and played flawless tennis behind the initial shot until the end of the encounter.

Purcell played another loose service game at 1-2, netting an easy volley to drop serve for the second straight time and find himself 3-1 behind. Feliciano blasted a service winner for a hold at love and 4-1, and Max responded a few minutes later for his first successful service game.

The Aussie served to stay in the set in game eight and faced a set point after a terrible forehand. Max denied it with a service winner and fired an ace to bring the game home and prolong the set. Lopez served for it at 5-3 and held at love with an ace to build the advantage after 34 minutes.

Both players served well on the fastest surface in the second set's opening ten games, reaching 5-5 in no time. Lopez denied the rival's three game points in the 11th game and clinched the second break chance with a lob winner that sent him 6-5 in front.

Feliciano served for the win in game 12 and landed an ace down the T line to move over the top and extend his career in front of his family and friends.

Rafael Nadal Feliciano Lopez