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June 21, 2014

Feliciano Lopez


F. LOPEZ/R. Gasquet
6‑3, 6‑7, 7‑5

THE MODERATOR:  Questions, please.

Q.  It's been, by my reckoning, 11 years and 6 matches.  How does it feel to finally be able to beat him?
FELICIANO LOPEZ:  Well, of course I'm tired.  You know, I've played so many matches in the last two weeks.  You know, I'm not used to do it quite often, but I'm happy that I won most of them.  As I said before, won't be better preparation for Wimbledon, no?

Q.  You kissed the Eastbourne sign at the end, didn't you?

Q.  You must be as sorry as anyone that it's not going to be here again this year?
FELICIANO LOPEZ:  Yeah.  First of all, I have to replace, because to win two times in a row is such a difficult task.  I did.  So I'm very glad that I can do it here at Eastbourne.
In the other way, I'm very sad because next year we cannot play here again.

Q.  Your first win over Richard, as well?
FELICIANO LOPEZ:  Yeah, yeah.  He beat me five times before, quite a lot.  So I have to be even a little bit more happy, because I know Richard is going to be so tough to beat today.
When a player beat you five times before, you don't know sometimes what's gonna be the way and how can you manage the situation to beat him for the first time.  And I did.  It's a great feeling.

Q.  What do you think was the difference?  What made the difference?
FELICIANO LOPEZ:  The surface probably a little bit.  You know, it's a unique surface, the grass.  And the way I play here is completely different from where I play on the other surfaces around the world.  So that's really one of the most important things.
Then my attitude was great.  I was fighting.  Even though losing the second set, I was there all the time so until I made it.  And sometimes when you play against players where you don't normally have the chance to beat them, sometimes you give up a little bit earlier than normal and today I didn't.  That's probably something to comment for.

Q.  The two time warnings.  Was it a bit harsh, or does it feel a little bit...

Q.  You seemed a bit upset, particularly once the second one was issued.
FELICIANO LOPEZ:  I think was not the right time.  I understand the rules.  I have to accept that if you are running slow you have to take the warning.  I don't care.
But the second warning was not ‑‑I mean, he didn't give the warning the best moment.  If you're 1‑Love in the third, 15‑40, there is many other occasions where you can give the warning to the player.  I mean, I was serving for ‑‑ losing my serve on grass, which is the most important thing.
So I think he should have given the warning in 15‑All maybe.  If I'm running slow, he will have more chances to give me the warning.  So that's why I didn't understand.
But they have to work with the rules, and I understand in that way.

Q.  Even the first one, though, you paused with the wind.
FELICIANO LOPEZ:  It was very strange.  I was ready to serve, and then I stopped my swing because of the wind.  He gave me the warning.
But, you know, there is not much to comment right now.

Q.  Will you be in good physical shape for Wimbledon after such a tough week?
FELICIANO LOPEZ:  I think so, yeah.  I was lucky that I have a bye here.  I play on Wednesday my first match.  Even though I played two matches yesterday and the match today was really tough, three sets, I have two days off.  I'm lucky that I'm playing on Tuesday over there.
So I think two days is going to be enough for me to get ready and to be 100%.

Q.  No aches or pains or knocks?
FELICIANO LOPEZ:  Well, always pains (smiling).  I'm 32.  There is no one week playing without pain.

Q.  Have you looked at the Wimbledon draw?
FELICIANO LOPEZ:  Of course, yeah.  I have a qualifier to start, and then a potential third round against (indiscernible), but I don't want to look at like this.  I don't want to look further.
I just want to beat this guy and then will start thinking about second round.

Q.  Do you enjoy Wimbledon, all the trappings and the atmosphere?
FELICIANO LOPEZ:  Everybody enjoys Wimbledon.  I mean, it's the best tournament you can play in the world, and everybody is waiting for this moment to come.
I'm very happy that I'm going to play my 50th I think Grand Slam consecutive, and it's going to be there at Wimbledon.  So that makes the record more special.

Q.  What makes it so special?
FELICIANO LOPEZ:  Wimbledon?  I don't know.  Maybe the tradition, maybe the surface, maybe the facilities.  Everything is beautiful there and perfect.
Tennis has been a traditional sport, and I think they are very smart to keep those things, those small things that sometimes makes a difference.
Compared to other Grand Slams, I think it's something that you see when you get there.  So that makes Wimbledon very special.

Q.  You won here today, and Roberto won 's‑Hertogenbosch.  It's been a good week for Spain on grass?
FELICIANO LOPEZ:  Tennis grass, you mean (smiling)?

Q.  Yes.  How much grass court season if at all did you play in Spain when you were younger?
FELICIANO LOPEZ:  None.  My first match on grass was here at Wimbledon in my life.  First time I played on grass was here.
In my case it was such a strange situation, because when I first got to Wimbledon I always have the feeling that I can play good there.  It was like 12 or 13 years ago where all the Spanish players, some of them they don't even play at Wimbledon.
But from my generation till now, after my effort and then Rafa came, winning, everybody realized that they also can play on grass.  Grass is not that fast as it was before, like 20 years ago.  So for almost everybody it's easier to play from the baseline.  The Spanish guys, they realize that they can play.
But you need someone to do it good to see that you also will be able to do it, and this is what happened.

Q.  You have been twice watching Caroline Wozniacki's matches.  Are you good friends?
FELICIANO LOPEZ:  Yeah.  I like her so much, and she has a great character.  I know her father, as well.
You know, sometimes you have a lot of, you know, time where you have nothing to do here in the courts, so I have the chance to go there and watch couple matches.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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