Feliciano López, protagonist with Spain at 40


Circumstances have placed Feliciano López in a leading position that no one, not even himself, expected in the days prior to the start of the 2021 Davis Cup Finals. First the loss due to injury of Roberto Bautista and then that of Carlos Alcaraz, who tested positive for COVID-19, made the captain of the spanish team decided to trust the toledano to be number two and open the tie against Ecuador this Friday at the Madrid Arena. Feli did not fail. “I didn’t expect to play singles, but I didn’t expect to represent my country, Spain, at 40 either. (Only the Swedish Lindstedt (44) and the Austrian Marach (41) surpass him by age in the tournament). I know how difficult it is to be part of this team because we have had a lot of great players for 20 years, “he acknowledged.

His CV makes him one of the proper names in this edition of the country competition. He is already the fourth tennis player in the Navy with the most played rounds, 30, matched by Emili Sánchez Vicario and only behind Manolo Santana (46), Manuel Orantes (38) and Juan Gisbert (37). He overtakes another great one, Sergio Casal (29) on that list. He is one of the eight players present in this edition who has ever won the Salad Bowl, the only one who has achieved it several times (five). The left-hander, Grand Slam champion in doubles, won his first singles title in 2004, in conditions very similar to those of this Davis, indoor and on hard court. It was in Vienna. For this reason, playing in the capital of Spain came to the hair, the best for a great server like him.

“It is true that it is not very normal to see a 40-year-old tennis player playing professional tennis. But I have been very lucky, because I have not been injured much in my career and I have taken good care of myself in recent years”says López, which explains one of the keys to its longevity. “My type of game also helps, because there are no long points or, therefore, great physical wear in the matches, although there is because of the tension. A serve and volley player wears less, but traveling, wanting to improve yourself every day and playing many games does cause some deterioration “. The fact is that Feliciano sees what has happened to him in this Davis as “a gift from life that he did not expect at all.” “I couldn’t be happier. Somehow I feel that tennis is giving me back everything I have given, all the years of effort, of work, of continuing to fight and train every day. to be able to live moments like this, against the best in the world and from different generations to mine on the big stages. It is an opportunity that is of justice that he seizes “.

Davis Balm

Feli, who has played three Challengers since October to climb the rankings and enter the Australian Open, argues that Davis is “very good” for him. “In Madrid there are not many tennis players to train. I have spent eight years with Pepo Clavet (his coach) hand in hand, because Fernando (Verdasco) no longer lives here. That’s why these weeks serve me a lot, because I can prepare, compete and play with the best. That puts me in shape, regardless of the physical work I do. “With respect to the rest of the competition, he looks“ prepared ”to continue playing. sets. That makes it easier for players to double down. I’m fine, but anyone can play, because we all do well in doubles. If Sergi thinks it appropriate for me to play against Russia, I will. We will make the best decision. “He says it in the voice of experience.

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