Feli Lopez, The Unique All Time Great

Feliciano Lopez has not won a major, he’s never been world no. 1, but he holds a special distinction that Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Pete Sampras, Novak Djokovic, Andre Agassi have not come close to equaling.

Lopez has played in 69 consecutive Grand Slam main draws and Wimbledon next week will be 70.

Lopez played his first major in 2001 vs Carlos Moya at Roland Garros, then missed Wimbledon and US Open and 2002 AO (did not play qualies) but resumed Grand Slam play at Roland Garros in 2002 and hasn’t stopped since.

Lopez qualified at 2002 Roland Garros and beat Didac Perez of Spain in the first round of main draw 46 64 62 46 64. That was his first major main draw win. Lopez lost second round to Tommy Haas, who was no. 3 in the world at the time 36 46 46. Lopez was just 20.

Fast forward seventeen years later to 2019 and Lopez is still a force in the ATP. Yesterday he won the Queens Club singles and doubles titles with another marathon display or Iron Man tennis.

On Saturday, Lopez won his singles semi 64 in the third set against 18 year old Felix Auger-Aliassime and then won two doubles matches that were postponed by rain.

Yesterday Lopez, apparently immune from feeling fatigue, won the singles final 62 67 76 and then the doubles final with Andy Murray 76 57 10-5 vs Salisbury/Ram.

Lopez is still listed to play the Eastbourne main draw first round this week and Hugues-Herbert.

With his stunning Queens success last week, Lopez upped his ranking from 105 to 53 and will be presumably be given a wildcard into Wimbledon main draw next week, which will be his 70th major in a row. Or his ranking was good enough at the cut off date.

Regardless Lopez will continue to add to his unbreakable iron man record of 70 straight majors, an achievement that will surely never be matched. Making Lopez one of the most unique champions in the history of tennis – and a possible Hall of Fame candidate for this special distinction, along with his overall career of outstanding successes, which includes a Roland Garros doubles title.

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  • Harold · June 24, 2019 at 11:38 am

    You putting him in the HOF, next to Rios, Ferrer, and all the other non deserving.

    Its easier to play 69 straight Majors, when you’re losing in the first or second round. Guys that go deep in Masters, and Majors every event, have a much harder time staying healthy. If there ever was an irrelevant “ record” this might be it. 30 QF in a row at Majors is way better

  • Scoop Malinowski · June 24, 2019 at 12:38 pm

    Fitness and dedication beyond belief. This guy’s longevity is hall of fame calibre. I believe any player who achieves something that Fed Rafa and Djokovic and Sampras and Agassi never came close to achieving, belongs in the hall of fame. They all said Lendl and Navratilova were fitness legends but they never came close to this Lopez record. Think about it Harold, F Lo has not missed a major since 2002. And he’s still going strong at 37 in 2019.

  • Scoop Malinowski · June 24, 2019 at 12:39 pm

    I think playing 70 majors in a row is more impressive than winning one. Why? Because there are countless one slam winners and only one player in history to play 70 majors in a row.

  • Hartt · June 24, 2019 at 1:28 pm

    What struck me about Lopez over the last few days was how much he was enjoying playing; he played with real gusto, although he had to be exhausted by the time he reached the doubles final. I didn’t think he would continue playing after becoming the director for Madrid, but he shows no sign of retiring, and after what he accomplished at Queen’s, why should he?

  • Harold · June 24, 2019 at 1:40 pm

    93-70 in Majors…1.3 rounds per Major..not HOF worthy, even if he plays another 20 in a row..
    Participation trophy …..not HOF

  • Scoop Malinowski · June 24, 2019 at 2:02 pm

    Only player in tennis history, male or female, to play in 70 majors in a row spanning 2002 to 2019. Unbreakable record. Fedalkovic were not strong enough or durable enough to do what Lopez is doing. Borg, considered a physical freak, played SEVEN major main draws in a row. That’s it. One tenth of F-Lo. Jim “The Rock” Courier … 27 majors in a row. Jimmy Connors…THREE majors in a row. Ivan Lendl…16 majors in a row. Feliciano Lopez…70. Harold, I will buy you a Newport ticket for Lopez induction 🙂

  • Scoop Malinowski · June 24, 2019 at 2:04 pm

    Hartt, I think Lopez was extra motivated to play with Andy Murray and the atmosphere sparked him with an extra kick and fire. He responded with his best tennis. It’s too bad Murpez do not continue together, they obviously have a good chemistry of skills and personalities.

  • Scoop Malinowski · June 24, 2019 at 2:07 pm

    Look at really good players like Brian Baker and Christian Harrison and Guga Kuerten whose bodies fell apart. Yet somehow this old man Lopez keeps going strong. People like Harold take what he is doing for granted, no big deal. Age 37 and he just won singles and doubles of Queens. In stunning fashion too, beating top shelf players.

  • Scoop Malinowski · June 24, 2019 at 2:16 pm

    Roger Federer said he would vote yes for Rios to be inducted to Hall of Fame.

  • Harold · June 24, 2019 at 4:53 pm

    When you put Ch. Harrison in the same sentence, you can’t be taken seriously. Know your history. Borg, and most others didn’t go to Aus. Probably all regret not going now, could’ve piled up more Majors. Wilander won 2 Grass Slams when he was 18, and 19 years old. Did beat Mac, and Lendl along the way, Kriek, your boy, won his Majors there.

  • Harold · June 24, 2019 at 4:54 pm

    Same sentence as Guga

  • Scoop Malinowski · June 24, 2019 at 6:32 pm

    Grand Slams are Grand Slams, FLO never skipped any. These guys are regret skipping the majors they skipped. Could Borg have done 70? Don’t think so. Only one man in history has done it.

  • George · June 25, 2019 at 8:08 am

    He is definitely in the hall of fame for having beautiful wives. His fiance is gorgeous: https://m.whosdatedwho.com/dating/feliciano-lopez

  • Scoop Malinowski · June 25, 2019 at 8:28 am

    Andreescu is going to miss her second major in a row now with this rotator cuff injury. She is still under age 20. Lopez has never missed one single major since 2002 because of any injury and he is 37. Lopez streak would extend to 2001 but he missed three majors because his ranking was too low and he elected to play other tournaments instead of qualies.

  • catherine · June 25, 2019 at 8:46 am

    Scoop – I can’t see the point of comparing Bianca Andreescu with Lopez. Many players have missed major tournaments with injuries. Lopez has just been extremely lucky. Bianca is just extremely unlucky. It’s a certain kind of achievement for Lopez but I don’t see it qualifies him for H of F. Maybe a special prize for persistance. And a good genetic inheritance.

    Borg retired early. He didn’t want to play until he was 37, GSs or no. Irrelevant comparison. Seems to me just playing in a tournament isn’t enough. Great players win them.

  • catherine · June 25, 2019 at 8:57 am

    It’s indeed devastating news about Bianca. Just as we thought a new young player had arrived to restore lustre to the WTA – she’s gone again. And I can’t see pounding on hard courts post W’don is going to help her recovery.

  • Scoop Malinowski · June 25, 2019 at 9:21 am

    Well, Lopez just won two titles in one day. And maybe he’s a contender to win Wimbledon 🙂 If playing with Murray didn’t take too much out of his gas tank. I think people are undervaluing how incredible it is to play 70 majors in a row, he’s never missed one except for low ranking early in his career. I don’t think Hall of Fame should only be about winning majors and winning matches, it should also be about special achievements and playing incredible unforgettable tennis, like Isner and Mahut should be in for that one match alone. Why should the measure of a Hall of Fame player only be winning major titles? Why should it be limited and restricted to that? Everyone talks about the benefits of diversity, why is there no diversity in the qualifications to be elected to the Hall of Fame? Are historian writers like Bud Collins and Steve Flink really deserving to be in the HOF? If so, why not Lopez Isner Mahut Rios?

  • catherine · June 25, 2019 at 9:28 am

    Why don’t we just put everyone in the H of F ? Seems to me it’s an odd institution. No particular rules. You don’t even have to be a player. Hence Collins and Flink.

    I want to nominate Sabine Lisicki for the number of qualifying tournaments she’s played. I’m not sure of the number but I’m sure it’s a record. She’s in one now.

  • Scoop Malinowski · June 25, 2019 at 9:52 am

    Okay Catherine, if you can research and prove Lisicki has played the most qualifying tournaments in pro tennis history, we will endorse your suggest to elect Lisicki to Newport 🙂

  • catherine · June 25, 2019 at 10:05 am

    Simona has just said she will no longer play Fed Cup if the home/away structure is removed, as seems likely. Haggerty is going to announce this change shortly. He’s spouting about ‘gender equality’ and making tennis ‘a wlcoming sport’. Huh ? May have slipped Haggerty’s mind, or maybe no one has reminded him, but the Fed Cup began as a one site event, then changed to home and away and then back again to one site. This was a less than rousing sucess so…….

    Men may get away with losing the original Davis Cup structure but I’ve a feeling the Fed Cup will flounder. Will the whole event be played in the US ? If not, where ? China ? The whole business is disgraceful.

  • Scoop Malinowski · June 25, 2019 at 10:30 am

    Bye Bye Fed Cup. What’s next, playing the Super Bowl in Dubai? The World Series in Beijing? Wimbledon in Saudi Arabia?

  • catherine · June 25, 2019 at 10:41 am

    If anyone doubts the vitality of the home/away Fed Cup they should look on YTube for the 2014 Germany/Czech R tie in Prague – won by the Czechs. Kvitova bt Kerber in the deciding match. Petra says it is one match she will always remember. Martina was there too – on the CR benches.

  • Hartt · June 25, 2019 at 12:24 pm

    The ITF will make another stupid decision and change the Fed Cup structure. I doubt that the new DC will be arousing success, and if it isn’t there won’t be a way to bring it back.

    Was very glad to hear Simona speak out. She is right – there is nothing like a home game. I was lucky enough to see the DC tie here in Toronto last fall and I will never forget the electric atmosphere.

  • catherine · June 25, 2019 at 1:03 pm

    From Eastbourne – Svitolina loses again, to Cornet. Elina seems very low. On top of her injury there is recent emotional upset and I’m sure this is affecting her game.

    Sabalenka wins a match but Vondrousova loses. Kenin, fresh from Mallorca, loses to Stosur who has to turn out again later to play Kerber. Angie wins SS. She is wearing her usual necklace again.

    Halep v Hsieh. I’d like to see that.

  • Scoop Malinowski · June 25, 2019 at 1:11 pm

    Maybe they should just change the name to Money Cup.

  • Scoop Malinowski · June 25, 2019 at 1:13 pm

    Cornet downs Svitolina in the battle of La Monf exes. Svitolina sure has tumbled since the break up. Hsieh could be the iron woman of tennis, she has stayed healthy lately but has had foot ankle problems in the past. Gauff and Osuigwe are playing Wimby qualies, two teens to keep an eye on. Caty McNally another US teen, won today too.

  • catherine · June 25, 2019 at 2:00 pm

    Simona bt Hsieh easily so maybe it was best I didn’t see it. Surprise – Penko bt Stephens in 3, 0 second set. Something’s fired Jelena up again.

  • Scoop Malinowski · June 25, 2019 at 2:20 pm

    Big win for Halep who has lost in the past to Hsieh. Big statement by Cahill’s former protege. Coco Gauff beat the top seed in Wimby qualies in straight sets. Gauff is 15.

  • catherine · June 25, 2019 at 2:29 pm

    Sloane’s serve seems a bit wonky. Really let her down. Penko made 40 UEs and hit 14 dfs but won on her returns in the last 2 sets.

    Eastbourne is funny – maybe the one tournament it’s better to lose than win. And everyone’s tiptoeing around terrified of injury. I saw Steffi play here the year of her Grand Slam. She beat Helena Sukova.

  • catherine · June 25, 2019 at 3:19 pm

    Simona said playing doubles has helped her. She desperately doesn’t want a repeat of W’don 2018.

  • Hartt · June 25, 2019 at 4:12 pm

    Catherine yesterday Tennis.life had a piece on Bianca withdrawing from Wimby. As we were saying, this was expected.

  • Scoop Malinowski · June 25, 2019 at 5:54 pm

    Another player I feel deserves HOF consideration is Nico Massu for winning OLY gold in singles and doubles in 2004, the only man in history to do it, the first medals in the history of Chile in the OLY. This remarkable achievement should not be forgotten but celebrated.

  • Scoop Malinowski · June 25, 2019 at 7:00 pm

    Slight tear in rotator cuff is an injury I had years ago. I tried to reflex volley an overhead slam back and it was a heavy slam and it tore my rotator cuff. Could not play for months. I told a friend about it and he suggested I apply apple cider vinegar daily on the shoulder. Also to wrap it in brown paper bag, the combination of the properties of the bag and ACV helped to heal the injury supposedly. Well it did, took a few months but it healed and I got full range of motion back, no surgery needed. The remedy came from Renaldo Snipes who boxed Larry Holmes for the world heavyweight title in 1982. Snipes is a friend and he has a lot of homeopathic remedies like ACV. I commented this remedy on Andreescu’s instagram. Hope she sees it and it helps.

  • Harold · June 25, 2019 at 7:51 pm

    Fed interview translated from German


  • Scoop Malinowski · June 25, 2019 at 9:51 pm

    Thanks Harold that was a nice read. Interesting the part about still having big respect for the media early on in his career but not sure if he still has the same regard for the media by his wording. Could easily see him winning the title if he can evade Djokovic.

  • Jeff · June 25, 2019 at 11:58 pm

    Nice job by me winning another parlay, taking Dan Evans to beat Albot and Simon to beat Sandgren. Why? The bet would have been voided had Simon pulled out which was expected after reaching the Queens final. So there wasn’t much risk. I knew if he played he would win since Sandgren is honestly an overrated bum with no skills as the results have proven. Evans was always going to beat Albot.

    Now I am taking Fritz to knock off Pella and Hurkasz to crush Johnson. Thwe logic is simple – Pella is horrible on grass and Hurkasz is only a slight favorite over a player who is slumping badly

  • catherine · June 26, 2019 at 3:18 am

    Petkovic, Wozniaki and Kerber are all wearing the same adidas outfit. Very nice. Adidas beats Nike hands down for class.

  • catherine · June 26, 2019 at 5:26 am

    There – I told you. Ashleigh B obviously pulled a sickie so she could get a free pass to Lord’s to watch Aus in their favourite sport – bashing the Poms at cricket. Fortunately for Ash’s W’don R & R the team didn’t need to call on her services 🙂

  • Hartt · June 26, 2019 at 6:52 am

    Scoop, I wonder if “respect” was the best translation for what Roger said about the media. Perhaps it was more that he felt intimidated by them, because the complete quote is: “At first I still had enormous respect towards the media and thought what the people would think about me. But I got used to it very quickly.” I think the key is that he worried about what people would think. But that is no longer the case.

  • Scoop Malinowski · June 26, 2019 at 7:45 am

    Albot beat Evans in Delray final.

  • Scoop Malinowski · June 26, 2019 at 7:53 am

    Hartt, Fed can slip up in interviews. Mary Joe interviewed him on ESPN right after he won Cincy one year and she asked about US Open and Fed kind of gave a smile/smirk and said “…the craziness of New York.” This was on live TV. It sounded like a modified version of John Rocker’s view of New York. Fed quickly realized his gaffe and then talked about how much he loved New York yada yada. But if Kyrgios or Tsitsipas equated craziness and New York the media might have made an issue of it and raked them over the coals. Maybe Fed had another one of those moments in this German interview. Can’t say the perfect answers 100% of the time.

  • Jeff · June 26, 2019 at 9:30 am

    Albot beat Evans on hard court but this matchuo favored Evans. Anyway the profitable week continued as I had Hurkasz straigh-setting Johnson and Fritz winning.

    Pella easily the worst of the Wimbledon seeds.

  • catherine · June 26, 2019 at 10:12 am

    Jabeur bt Konta, Kerber bt Peterson and Halep looks on her way to whitewashing Hercog. Cornet through as well.

    Jabeur has a good game but I’m not crazy about those flouncy skirts she wears.

  • catherine · June 26, 2019 at 11:53 am

    Simona taken to 3 sets by Hercog. Kerber played well v Peterson, 2nd set to love. The most aggressive she’s played for a while. All round, grass is probably her best surface.

  • catherine · June 26, 2019 at 12:10 pm

    Kerber plays Halep next – this should be a match which will say a lot about the level of both players. I just hope neither one is peaking before Wimbledon.

  • catherine · June 26, 2019 at 4:01 pm

    Well – at last. Sabalenka bt Wozniaki in 3 sets. Will this be a turning point for Aryna ? If not, at least it shows some application and perseverance – qualities which have been missing from Sabalenka’s game for a while.

  • Scoop Malinowski · June 26, 2019 at 4:31 pm

    Nice to see Sabalenka awakening from her slumber. At least Tursunov’s hear hasn’t turned all white yet.

  • Hartt · June 27, 2019 at 12:05 am

    Scoop, we’ve talked about how the folks at Tennis Canada tried to keep FAA under wraps as much as possible, to allow him time to develop out of the spotlight. Tom Tebbutt confirms that in a lengthy piece he did yesterday about Felix on the Tennis Canada site. Of course, with the youngster’s success so far this season, the cat is out of the bag about his talent and potential.

    “The brain-trust at Tennis Canada’s National Tennis Centre in Montreal – headed by vice-president elite athlete development Louis Borfiga – has purposely been careful about protecting their prize prospect. They were aware of his exceptional talent and did all they could in the early days to make sure he wasn’t distracted or overwhelmed by too much outside attention.

    It worked for a while but when, at 15, he was the runner-up (after having three match points in the final) in the 2016 French Open junior boys event, it was getting harder to keep a lid on things. Then he won the US Open junior boys title later that summer a month after his 16th birthday – putting him at the forefront of the most promising young players in the world alongside good friend Denis Shapovalov, who was 2016 Wimbledon junior boys champion.”

    And, before you say anything about it, NO the US cannot have Louis Borgiga. 🙂

  • Scoop Malinowski · June 27, 2019 at 6:45 am

    Tennis Canada is making all the right moves up there in Louies office. Hartt you probably have nothing to worry about, the usta likely has no idea who Borfiga is and the sport altering work he’s done. Unless the usta brass reads tennis-prose I don’t see them getting the idea to steal Borfiga on their own. Usta seems to overpromote their young stars instead of keeping them under wraps. I’ve seen the publications listing each noteworthy junior with photo and achievements and it’s a mistake, most don’t pan out. I doubt Borfiga is making such a publication touting and celebrating its top juniors.

  • Hartt · June 27, 2019 at 8:16 am

    Scoop, I think you are right about Tennis Canada not making a big fuss about the junior players. Occasionally there will be something on their web site or on their twitter, but it is pretty low key. The one exception is Leylah Annie Fernandez, who is not part of the Tennis Canada program, although she does receive some assistance from them, including a Tennis Canada coach on occasion. But her early success as a junior would be hard to keep under wraps in this day and age.

    I think the the thing to stress with promising juniors is their potential, realising that not all young players are successful in the long run. So it is not a good idea to put too much emphasis on what they achieve as juniors. I have some concerns about Fernandez in that regard, but she does have real potential.

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