Feliciano Lopez came quite close to denying Rafael Nadal his 1000th win on tour. He was on top of proceedings for the whole first set and looked set to deal additional damage from the subsequent one courtesy of his gigantic first function.
But nerves and emotions soon came to the forefront since Lopez started making unforced errors towards the end of the second group, letting Nadal a space to breathe.
The 39-year-old ended up dropping in three tightly contested collections, and later he spoke to El Transistor concerning the game and his relationship with Nadal. Lopez put particular focus on the second set tiebreak, which decided the results of the match.
“When we reached the tiebreak I thought I could put pressure on him,” Lopez explained. “But Nadal played that tiebreak very well; at the worst moment, Rafa had his very best variation and functioned nicely.”
At one stage during this tiebreak, Feliciano Lopez appeared more than capable of working out with the match, given the way his serve was operating. He had just one mini-break to put immense pressure on Nadal, but the 13-time French Open champion refused to waver.
He has a great sense of respect and friendship: Feliciano Lopez
To get Feliciano Lopez, the respect and friendship between him and Rafael Nadal make every match against the 34-year-old genuinely unique. On the other hand, the 39-year-old maintained that his focus amounts never dipped regardless of his connection with Nadal.
“What I enjoy the most about playing Rafa, the best of all is that there’s a great sense of respect and friendship. But at precisely the exact same time you are just as focused as another day when you play against another opponent,” Lopez said.
Lopez also emphasized that the mutual respect between him and Rafael Nadal meant that neither of them ever found the need to dispute a line telephone with the chair umpire.
“Respect is very nice and occasionally leads us to not lower the chair-umpire (from his seat),” Lopez explained.
No matter what the outcome of any match involving Lopez and Nadal, the friendship between the two stays the same as they meet the court. The Manager of this Madrid Open mentioned a recent instance where he spoke the Real Madrid Champions League game with Rafael Nadal,
“For example, we meet in the hotel before, the reality is that the usual relationship doesn’t alter anything, today, by way of instance, we talked about the Madrid game yesterday,” Lopez added.