A special, different challenge. TO Feliciano López, at 39 years old and being No. 64 in the ATP ranking, has a particular crash in the second round of the Masters 1000 in Paris-Bercy. He will play with nothing less than Rafael Nadal, No. 2 in the world and top favorite, his luxury companion on the Spanish Davis Cup champion team last year.
And then it will be a clash between compatriots left-handed. López defeated Serbian Filip Krajinovic (30th) in his debut 7-6 (11) and 6-1 in one hour and 27 minutes. “I feel very lucky. Sometimes we take things for granted and it seems that it is normal for a 39-year-old player to beat the No. 30 in the world “, stood out after achieving victory No. 492 of his professional career, after hitting 21 aces.
“Now every victory I value much more and I am aware of how difficult it is, it is not normal. Now, that’s why I’m not going to believe that I’m a panacea. A series of circumstances have come together that have made it possible for me to continue playing these tournaments and remain competitive, ”he added.
“I feel good in the few games that I have been able to play. I think it has been a difficult year for everyone, but personally I feel good. There has been very little competition and it has been difficult to hook two or three weeks where you play five or six games, which is what you sometimes need to feel good on the court again. Sometimes you play well and lose ”, remarked López.
Now a special match is coming: “For me, it is a gift to play against Rafa right now. It’s a shame it’s in an empty stadium, because at this point in my career it would have been a great prize to finish the last week of the season playing against the No. 2 in the world, possibly the best in history, a friend like him, in a stadium like this … but that’s what what we have. I’m going to enjoy the game the same way ”.
In his career, López is 4-9 against Nadal. The last two wins against his compatriot were on hard surfaces: “I prefer to play indoors. I think playing against Rafa is always a challenge, because playing with him is special because of the intensity with which the games against him are lived, because of how demanding he is. To face it in a tournament like this, and above all at 39 years old, at this moment in my life I think it is a prize, “he said.