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June 15, 2014

Feliciano Lopez


6‑7, 7‑6, 7‑6

THE MODERATOR:  Questions, please.

Q.  Bad luck.

Q.  Have you played that well and lost very often?
FELICIANO LOPEZ:  Not really.  I think when you face players like Grigor, you know that even playing the way I played today there is a chance to lose because he's a great player.  He never gives up, as he showed today.
It's tough to lose when you play such a great match, but you have to take it the other way, no?  Overall it was a great week for me.  It has been a great preparation for Wimbledon, and hopefully in Eastbourne next week I can do well again.  There is not much I can say.

Q.  Are you playing some of your best tennis ever at 32?  Do you feel you have ever played this well consistently every week before?
FELICIANO LOPEZ:  Well, not consistently, but on grass I had some good results in the past.  It's definitely the place where I feel more comfortable, where I see that my game is more effective.
Yeah, is true that I'm feeling great, I'm playing good, and hopefully can continue playing like this for the next two weeks or three.

Q.  You're definitely still heading to Eastbourne?
FELICIANO LOPEZ:  Yeah.  Tomorrow.  Yeah, tomorrow we're gonna be there, and I think I'm going to start playing on Wednesday.  So another week of good tennis, I hope.

Q.  Have you set any targets for Wimbledon in terms of how far you want to go in the tournament?  You have been very consistent over the years.
FELICIANO LOPEZ:  Well, it's very early to talk about Wimbledon.  It is true that by this time of the year everybody is thinking about Wimbledon.
You know, even though you're playing here or somewhere else on grass, everybody is hoping Wimbledon to start.  The players also.
I don't know.  I hope I can be seeded as I was in the past.  You know, every match is difficult.  In Grand Slams, where you play best of five, you never know because anything can happen.  You can get hurt.
I'm going to play doubles this year, also, so I have to be ready.  I'm full of energy to challenge the two weeks' tournament.

Q.  You're not the only one who is playing their best tennis at 32.  This question has been asked before, but what's your explanation why so many over‑30s are playing maybe their best tennis?
FELICIANO LOPEZ:  Well, I don't know.  It's tough to say one thing.  I think that we are physically stronger than players in the past.  We take care a little bit more of our bodies, I think.
Right now we have more options than 20, 25 years ago where many, many players after 27, 28, they were almost dead, most of them because of injuries.  You know, the things that we have now to recover are much better.  We have a lot of different techniques, things that other players didn't have before.
In my case, because I can talk about my case more deeply, I do everything I can, everything they tell me to stay healthy, try to eat good, to sleep every day as much as I can and just try to have a good life, a healthy life, and try to extend my career the more that I can.
It's going to be this year for sure.  Next year I hope I can play still at the top level, but I will go one year at a time.  I don't want to think because everybody is asking the same question all the time, When are you going to finish?  You're 32, going to be 33 this year.
I don't know.  I go one year at a time.  For the moment I'm happy with everything that I'm doing, and when we finish this year we will see.

Q.  What do you think about Grigor's position in his career?  People have talked about him in terms of being a future Grand Slam winner.  Do you think he's there or thereabouts now?
FELICIANO LOPEZ:  Yeah, sure.  He's very young.  I think he's 23.  He's already there.  He's very close of the top 10, and I think talking about young guys in the tour, he's, for me, he's the one who has the better conditions.
He's the more complete player of all of the youngest, and I think he's doing well.  He won already two, three tournaments recently, two this year.  I think he's in a good way.  Sooner or later it will come.
But right now it's tough.  We have for ten years with these animals in the top.  It's very tough to win the Grand Slams because Roger, Rafa, Nole, they win everything.
For Grigor, still at 23, he's maybe a little bit early with these guys, but as he showed in Australia he almost beat Rafa this year in the quarterfinals, so he's getting close.  I think he can be a Grand Slam champion in the future.

Q.  Does that generation just have to bide their time, not rush things, simply because the Top 4, they are not going away any time soon?
FELICIANO LOPEZ:  Yeah, it's very tough to face these guys, no?  They all have been No. 1 in any time.  Rafa, he was; Nole, he was; Roger was.  But to have such players like this playing in the same, you know, generation, it's really difficult, no?  Normally you have one, maybe two.  But we have these players that they are winning everything.
So for the other guys, even being a great player, it's tough to reach the top, to win the big ones.  It's really, really tough.

Q.  Obviously very different conditions in Eastbourne with the wind and everything.  What are your thoughts about making that transition?
FELICIANO LOPEZ:  I don't know.  I hope that the wind is calming down and it's not going to blow a lot, as it was last year in the finals where we almost we couldn't play.
But I hope it's going to be sunny and beautiful (smiling).

Q.  When you've had a really tough loss like today, how do you go about getting over it?
FELICIANO LOPEZ:  You just have to get over it.  I mean, when you play any professional sport, you have to be ready for that.  And it's true that today I was one point away of the victory, but I couldn't make it.  This is how it is.
Now the only thing to get over it is to accept, first of all, and to still be competitive next week.  I hope this loss is not going to affect my game, because if I keep thinking about the match, I'm not going to play like I have to play because you don't have to think about the loss anymore.
First of all, you have to accept and then keep playing, keep practicing, and, you know, this is the way tennis and professional sport is.  Is nothing much I can do.

Q.  Is grass now becoming your favorite surface as you have been so successful on it?
FELICIANO LOPEZ:  Yeah, yeah.  It was already.  It was, yeah.

Q.  Someone who is used to playing clay, was brought up on clay...
FELICIANO LOPEZ:  Well, for me, the first time I played Wimbledon I knew that grass is going to be my surface.  I remember I reached the fourth round the first time there, and I was so surprised how can I adjust so quick to these kind of courts.
Since then, I have been playing good on grass.  But, you know, I was hoping to hold this trophy here, you know?  Because Queen's is a very special tournament.  Is true but didn't happen.  I have to think about Eastbourne and Wimbledon right now.

Q.  So you're happy you have an extra week of grass next year?
FELICIANO LOPEZ:  Yeah, very happy (smiling).  I think we ‑‑ not we deserved, but Wimbledon, because for me Wimbledon is the best tournament in the world.
This is the place where everybody want to win.  They had a very short season, and they really deserve one more week.  I think three weeks of grass is not enough for such a great event like Wimbledon.
So they fight for that, and they finally got it.  I think they really deserve it.  We will have another week of grass in 2015, which is good for me.

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