ATP Queen's: Feliciano Lopez wins title to match Pete Sampras' achievement



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ATP Queen's: Feliciano Lopez wins title to match Pete Sampras' achievement

In what has been the tenth-oldest ATP final in the Open era, the 37-year-old Feliciano Lopez has extended his record for the oldest Queen's champion, beating Gilles Simon 6-2, 6-7, 7-6 in two hours and 49 minutes! Both veterans have struggled throughout the week and they give their best to set the title clash, battling from start to finish and giving the crowd at Queen's something to cheer about all the time.

World no. 113, Lopez needed a wild card to enter the main draw and used it with both hands, delivering the seventh ATP title and the first since this very same event two years ago. Feliciano has become the first Queen's champion with a wild card since Pete Sampras in 1999, having another final to play later with Andy Murray if he has safe anything in his body for the doubles encounter.

Also, Lopez is the seventh player in the Open era with an ATP title after turning 37 and the second-oldest winner on grass, with Roger Federer winning Halle just three hours earlier! The Spaniard had the upper hand in the first set and nothing could have separated them after that, staying neck and neck in sets two and three to bring the deciding tie break.

Feliciano hit 16 aces and many more service winners, fending off six out of seven break points to limit the damage in his games, creating 13 chances on the return and converting three, two of those in the opening set. Simon had more winners from the court and fewer number of unforced errors, taming his shots nicely and taking the same amount of points as Lopez in the last two sets, giving his everything to grab the first ATP title on grass.

Lopez drew first blood in the first game after a long rally and an unforced error from the Frenchman, breaking again with a great net coverage for a 5-1 advantage and a huge boost after less than 25 minutes. The Spaniard closed the set with a service winner in the eighth game, taking full control and hoping for more of the same in the rest of the encounter.

The second set kicked off with back-to-back breaks in games two and three, with both players serving well in the rest of the set to reach a tie break that Gilles grabbed 7-4 after a volley error from Lopez, sending the match into a decider and his fifth marathon match of the week.

They saved all ten break points in the final set (Simon seven, including a match point at 5-6) to deliver the deciding tie break that Lopez clinched 7-2 after two mini-breaks, celebrating the title that will push him into the top-60 again.