Former world No. 12 Feliciano Lopez admitted stunning world No. 5 Andrey Rublev at the Davis Cup Finals felt great but in the end it didn't mean too much since Spain failed to qualify for the knockout stage. After beating Ecuador 3-0 in their first tie, Spain took a 1-0 lead over Russia following Lopez's shock win over Rublev.
"The fact of being here competing for me was already a prize. Finding myself in the situation I was in today, playing against the No. 5 in the world in Madrid in front of 10,000 people, being able to compete with him, was already a gift.
Imagine winning, what it means. Possibly, for all the special things that this match had, at the time it came to me, it will surely be one of the most important matches of my life, but it was not enough to qualify and that is what hurts me the most, and what really matters in the end," explained Lopez, per the Davis Cup Finals website.
Lopez had a chance lead Spain to the quarterfinal
Daniil Medvedev beat Pablo Carreno Busta in the second rubber, before Rublev and Aslan Karatsev beat Lopez and Marcel Granollers to clinch a quarterfinal spot for Russia.
"Of course, it is a great disappointment not to make it past the group stage," Lopez underlined. "I think we did everything in our power to qualify for the quarter-finals, but unfortunately, playing with this format, sometimes you do what you have to do and you don't achieve the reward and that's what happened.
Winning the first day 3-0 and losing today 2-1, is very rare not to qualify and that is why we are so disappointed and especially me, that I got a point for my team and then, going one set up in the doubles, we were very close, but it wasn't enough.
I don't want that to sound like an excuse because when you lose in any sport there are no excuses, but it's very disappointing to be out of Davis Cup the way it has happened, but it is what it is. "We can no longer do anything. I am very proud of myself and of everyone in the team."