Former Spanish tennis player Marc Lopez was contemplating a retirement after the 2008 season but winning Doha with Rafael Nadal made him continue his career. In the January of 2009, Lopez and Nadal won the Doha doubles title after beating Daniel Nestor and Nenad Zimonjic in the final.
Lopez then went on to have a successful doubles career as he won the 2016 French Open doubles title and achieved a doubles career-high ranking of No. 3 in 2013. "The key moment when he helped me was in 2009, when we started to play doubles together.
In 2008, when that season was over, I was going through a difficult time in my career. I considered stopping. I had lost any hope of entering the Top 100 in singles after coming close in 2004. I didn’t know what to do, and that’s when the opportunity to play doubles with Rafa in Doha came up," Lopez told the ATP website.
"Tomeu [Salvà] had just retired and Nadal gave me the opportunity. That’s when I realised that I was good at doubles. With Rafa, everything is very easy, but we won the tournament, beating the World No. 1 pair on the way.
Then, even when we weren’t playing together, Rafa was always keeping an eye on my results, helping me and giving me advice before big games, such as the French Open final I played with Feli [López]."
Lopez won the gold medal with Nadal
Lopez and Nadal teamed up at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics and brought the gold medal to Spain after beating Florin Merga and Horia Tecau in the men's doubles final.
"The Olympic gold medal. We were playing together again. Rafa made a huge effort to play in both disciplines, and he put his trust in me. The experience was very good, not only on court. We slept in the same room. People don’t realise, but all the tennis players were in one apartment.
I slept in a room with Rafa with two small beds. We even put a little table in the middle with an iPad to watch something before bed every night. It was really amazing, two intense weeks that ended perfectly with that gold medal," Lopez said.