“I got killed” Feliciano Lopez reveals opinion on debate over 5 set matches
If any man favoured playing matches over the best of three sets rather than five you would have thought it might have been a 39-year-old who has been competing in Grand Slam tournaments for the last 22 years. Feliciano Lopez, however, likes the format just as it is.
After beating the 25-year-old Italian, Lorenzo Sonego, in five sets at the Australian Open, Lopez insisted: “I love the five-setters, honestly. I think the five-set matches bring something different to tennis, especially when they go into the fifth set.”
By playing in Melbourne Feliciano Lopez extended his world record run of 75 consecutive appearances in Grand Slam tournaments. The last time the Spaniard did not play in a Grand Slam event was in the Australian Open of 2002.
With players’ preparations for this year’s Australian Open restricted by the quarantine arrangements that were put in place because of the pandemic, some observers questioned whether it was fair to require the men to play over the best of five sets.
Asked what he thought about five-set matches, Lopez said: “I don’t know if they are the best, given the circumstances that we have right now, where most of the players haven’t played much in the last year and a half. This I don’t know. But I wouldn’t change the five-set matches in the Slams, honestly. I think if you ask about my opinion, I’ll keep it like this. I will still play best-of-five in the Slams. I think it’s something different.”
Lopez’s first match in the main draw of a Grand Slam tournament was at the French Open in 2001, when he took only five games off Carlos Moya. “I got killed,” Lopez recalled. “Carlos was always someone I really admired when I started playing professionally. For me it was like a gift to play against Carlos in the French Open. There’s nothing else to say about the match. I think he was a much better player than me.”
- Join the tennishead CLUB and receive £250/$350 of FREE GEAR including ASICS Gel-Resolution 8 trainers, shorts, shirt & socks
- Keep up to date with the breaking news & tennis action at our tennis news section
- Win amazing prizes by entering our competitions
- Learn more about your favourite players including Roger Federer, Rafa Nadal and Novak Djokovic
- Check out the latest tennis equipment with our tennis gear reviews
- Receive regular updates in our legendary free newsletter
- Read in depth features with stunning photography in tennishead magazine
- Can’t visit the tournaments you love? Check out our guide on how to watch tennis on TV
- Don’t miss a thing with our Live Scores service
- Follow tennishead on social media at Facebook, Twitter, Instagram & YouTube
- EXCLUSIVE 5% DISCOUNT for all tennishead readers on tennis rackets, balls, clothing, shoes & accessories with All Things Tennis, our dedicated tennis gear partner