Under the Patronage of H.h. Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai

February 19- March 4, 2023
Dubai Duty Free tennis stadium
February 19- March 4, 2023
Dubai Duty Free tennis stadium
February 22, 2016

Feliciano Lopez – Press Conference

2016 Men's Singles First Round: F. LOPEZ/G. Garcia-Lopez 6-1, 4-6, 6-4
stadium from stands

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. You got your 400th career match win, but it wasn’t easy. Can you just talk about the match.

FELICIANO LOPEZ: Well, very happy, first of all, because I think is a good number, 400 wins (smiling).

Yeah, it’s been long time since I start playing tennis, and I’m very happy that I can, you know, that I have been able to achieve this number. It means that I was also very lucky in terms of I didn’t have injuries during my career. I have been able to play for almost 15 years, so it was easier to get to this number.

The match today, I think Guillermo is a tough player for me to face. He’s a very solid player. He has very good groundstrokes. He hits the ball really hard.

But I was very aggressive. I think I was doing the right things, especially in the beginning of the match. The first set was very quick. Then second set he was playing better and better. I was not serving at my best, I will say, by the end of the set. I got a break. Then immediately I made the break again.

So I think I played quite good coming from indoor tournament last week, so it was difficult, no, first match when you go outdoors.

So, yeah, I feel happy. Hopefully I can do better in the next round.


Q. Do you like the conditions here? Because they are quite fast.

FELICIANO LOPEZ: Well, I think the courts were a little bit faster in the past or maybe the balls are heavier this time. I don’t know. But, yeah, I’m happy with the conditions. I think these courts, they were good for me in the past, no? I reached the finals twice. I have played very good, a lot of good matches here on that court.

So that means that I maybe can play good this year again, so I’m hoping for a good run.


Q. You had to retire from a match recently. You were feeling unwell or sick?

FELICIANO LOPEZ: No. Because of the altitude, my beats, they went so high after long rally in the third game, first set. So after that they didn’t go down as they normally go, so I was a little bit scared.

Doctor came. He said that everything was normal. But for me there was no reason, no, to continue playing feeling like that. That’s why I quit. Yeah.


Q. Had you ever felt that before in altitude?

FELICIANO LOPEZ: I felt that, yeah. The beats go higher than normal where we were playing at 3,000 meters of altitude. And in practice you feel that the beats, they go really high, but then they go down. It takes time, but they go down.

It’s not like here. You play a long rally, it takes 25 seconds to recover, 20 seconds, 25 seconds. There it maybe takes one minute, two minutes, but they go down. What happened is that they didn’t go down and I was a little bit scared.

That’s it. Nothing more than that. Nothing, you know, serious.


Q. What do tournaments like Dubai Duty Free mean for the rest of your career?

FELICIANO LOPEZ: It was a great ten years playing here. Two finals, good memories, no?

This tournament was a great tournament for everybody to play. I mean, it won the 500 award many times. They have been taking care of us so good.

For us, the players, it’s always good to come back here, no? Normally you come from Europe, which is very cold. You come here to enjoy the sun, enjoy the facility, have so many things to do in Dubai. Especially for me that I’m a little bit older than the rest of the players, no? I played here, I don’t know when, I don’t know when was the first time. But many years ago I remember Dubai was completely different, no?

The city was growing and growing after the years. So the year after — you know, I was coming back the year after, and I was surprised at how many buildings they have, you know, already made.

Yeah, it’s a great city. It’s a great tournament. So it’s always great to be here.


Q. So what kind of things do you do when you do come here?

FELICIANO LOPEZ: Normally it’s tough because you play in the evening here. Matches start in 2:00 in the afternoon. But last weekend we were able to go to Dubai Mall and we were having dinner there. It was so beautiful. We were taking some pictures at the Burj Khalifa.

Yeah, it’s always nice when you have time to go and you see something else besides the tennis court or hotel room (smiling).

This is the city to do it, no? Any chance that we have, I try to go somewhere and to enjoy my life, my tennis life, no, besides the tennis court.


Q. Is that the first time you have been in a police car that…

FELICIANO LOPEZ: Yeah, it was amazing. I didn’t know that I’m going to drive this kind of car. Well, I was not driving, but I was inside the car with the policeman, and I didn’t know that I was gonna drive that Supercar.

I was surprised that they have 14 cars, 14 sports cars. Not all of them are Audis, but they have different ones. He was able to tell me why and they have these cars in different locations around the city.

Yeah, it’s fun for people, no? For the tourists that suddenly they see those cars with the police so they don’t know what’s going on.

It’s fun. It’s fun. Then I really enjoy it, no? It’s a great car. The R8, it was so nice to be there and it was great fun.


Q. How fast did you drive it?

FELICIANO LOPEZ: I will tell you the truth: The guy wasn’t driving so fast. He’s a policeman, so he’s been taking care — he was very respectful with all the signs.



Q. Do you see who you might have in the next round of the draw? What do you think?

FELICIANO LOPEZ: I have Rosol or Bhambri. Yeah. They didn’t play yet.

Bhambri, I never played him. Rosol is a very tough player, very aggressive player. He can play really good tennis. We will see what happens.

Yeah. Each of them is gonna be tough for me.


Q. Coming here for the past 10 years, have you learned a little bit of Arabic?

FELICIANO LOPEZ: Not really, eh? Not really. I was wondering why not? I am not so bad with the languages. And I speak a little bit French, as well, Spanish, Catalan, English a little bit, as well.

But some of the languages, they have been very tough for me. German, also, for example, never learn anything in German in 15 years traveling besides “new balls” and “15-40.”

Yeah, but I wish I can learn something more, yeah.

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