Feliciano López wastes two match-balls and falls to Ymer

He is already 39 years old, but he competes as if he were 29 and it is still nice to see his fine and classic tennis on the courts, which he executes with masteryIt all has to be said, because it maintains an enviable physical shape. But in his career he has lacked regularity to achieve more success and be higher. It is Feliciano López and this Thursday he was two steps away from reaching the quarterfinals of the Swiss Open in Gstaad for the eighth time, an ATP 250 that he was particularly good at and that he won in 2016. The Toledo had two match-balls in the second set tiebreaker to beat the Swede Mikael Ymer (22 years and 96th in the world), but he wasted them and paid for it dearly: 6-7 (6), 7-6 (6) and 6-4 at 2:25.

Ymer, a player with a bad record on clay (9-13 now), had not made it past the first round in any tournament played on that surface until this year. The curse was removed at Roland Garros, where fell in the third against Jannik Sinner after beating Roberto Carballés and Gael Monfils. And against Feli he did not let himself be intimidated by the abysmal difference in experience, not even when he lost three set points in the first quarter and saw the Spaniard overcome him 5-1 in the tie-break. In the second he saved those two match points and with a break in the third he held on with his service until the final 6-4, without giving up a single break option to López.

The Stockholm-born player, who has tennis brothers, will face in the quarterfinals, a round he has never reached before on the ATP circuit, the Canadian Denis Shapovalov or the Czech Vit Kopriva. After the eliminations of Roberto Bautista and Feliciano, there are no more tennis players from the Navy in a team led by the aforementioned Shapovalov.

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