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July 3, 2018

Feliciano Lopez

Wimbledon, London, England

F. LOPEZ/F. Delbonis

6-3, 6-4, 6-2

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Looking from the outside, you had an extremely good serving day, both on the first and second serves. In fact, the only game you lost on your serve was when you didn't hit any first serves. Would you consider today as one of your best serving days, or do you remember days where...
FELICIANO LOPEZ: Well, I served well, it's true, under the circumstances today. Was not easy to play. A lot of wind today, especially on those outside courts.

Yeah, I managed to be consistent with my serve. It was so important to serve well today. I think I did and it was kind of key today. I think the match overall was okay. I got this break where I didn't put one first serve in and I got broken.

So, yeah, it is so important on the grass to be consistent on your serve, to hit as many first serves as you can hit, just to be, you know, stable on the serve.

Q. Congratulations on the record of appearing at Grand Slams, beating Roger Federer. I'm sure you would say luck, but what, besides luck and good fortune, is the secret of your longevity?
FELICIANO LOPEZ: I think the way I play maybe also. I think I don't play so many rallies. Also my technique. I play quite easy, so I don't make a huge effort in every single shot that I play. That's also important.

I don't know. I haven't, you know, suffered any big injuries in my career. This is the most important thing. And also mentally I have the strength enough to be, you know, playing so many years (smiling).

Q. What's in your drink?
FELICIANO LOPEZ: I cannot tell you. (Laughter.)

No, it's a recovery drink. I don't really know. My trainer, he prepares for me after matches, yeah.

Q. At a time when Roger and Rafa and Novak have a lot of the records, how does it feel for you to have a record like that? What does it mean?
FELICIANO LOPEZ: Well, when I was about breaking the record, I thought, wow, I'm going to beat Federer at something, which is a lot already. (Laughter.) Just it's only a number, and I'm really proud of my consistency. Is not about, you know, the number of Grand Slams played. It's about how many years have been playing, you know, at the top level. This is the most important thing.

Q. I think one of the reasons we pay a lot of attention to this record is that it is a very hard one to achieve. Some players have done a lot to get it. I think Wayne Ferrero walked on court with a broken ankle just to get the record when he broke it. Does it sort of represent something important to you?
FELICIANO LOPEZ: Yeah, of course. Of course it means a lot to me. As I said before, it's not about reaching this number of the most consecutive Grand Slams played. It's about being 15 years or more playing at the top level.

For me, after 30 years always so important to be competitive and to challenge the best players in the world. This is what I thought at this stage of my career was the most important thing, to stay healthy and to be able to compete against these monsters, because for me I played in the past against other monsters, but after the 30s it was so important for me to stay fresh and healthy, just to challenge these animals, because they are very -- the level overall is getting higher and higher in the last decade.

So for me that was so important. I knew I need to do something different, and I was just, you know, trying to -- I was taking care of my body. I was trying to do a lot of prevention for the injuries with my trainer. And I was very lucky, also, I have to say.

Q. Is there a secret diet you could share with us? And also, like, when was your streak in danger the most in all those years?
FELICIANO LOPEZ: No, I don't follow any particular diet. I just try to eat healthy. I eat a lot, and I like everything. So I don't drink Coke. I don't eat bread, only once in a while. No milk. Those three things I don't take. And the rest I eat everything.

But I was very lucky, I have to say, and I think everybody's taking care about small things in the last 10 years. The players, we realize we have to take care about everything, you know. 20 years ago you were only training on the court. Then the fitness part of the game became very important. Now nutrition and some of the things, also, they have became very important lately, and I think it's about putting everything together. It's small pieces putting together to make the success, you know. In my case it was like this.

Q. You mentioned playing monsters. You play a very big guy next in Del Potro, and you have had good success against him. You have split most of your matches. He has the lead 4-3, but you haven't played him in years. How would you describe what he's done to come back to this level and what the challenge is for you in the next match?
FELICIANO LOPEZ: What he did is impressive. He did not only one time. He did few times. And it's impressive the way he came back and the way he is able to beat the best players in the world after such a long injury.

It's really impressive, and I think he's a great guy. I was very happy for him when he did especially the last comeback when he beat Federer in Indian Wells, and then it was impressive the way he played. And I also like the way he plays.

So I'm expecting a good match against Delpo. I think the grass fits my game. I will try to play aggressive, just to be there, try to be, you know, focus on holding my serve, and then take those little chances that he might give me.

In grass, it's all about taking these small chances that the opponent might give you, because the matches are very equal. And if you serve good, it's tough to make a break. So it will be a tight match, I think.

Q. You spoke about your style and you say that's one of the keys to the way you can carry on playing this level such a long time. There are so many injuries with some of the younger guys, like Chung pulled out with Achilles, Nishikori has had problems, and Andy Murray is out, Novak has had problems. Do you think there is something in the way people are learning to play or the styles they are playing where it's leading to a lot more injuries in tennis?
FELICIANO LOPEZ: I don't know that much about specific things and technique, and probably the two-handed backhand guys have more injuries in the last years. This is something that I realize. I don't know why. Maybe a doctor can tell you (smiling).

But it is true that the two-handed backhand guys have been struggling with injuries lately more than one-handed backhand guys.

Also, the stress that these guys they have every single day they compete, because they have to win every day. Also, the mental part is so important that it might be affected, you know, on your body when you step in the court and you have to win every single day.

So it's so many things that, you know, that these guys can, you know, suffer. And then they can have a big injury like Andy. He had last year, not this year, the hip surgery. Novak in the arm. Roger in the past, also in the back. Rafa, his whole career he's been suffering injuries. But it's also here, because they have a lot of, you know, stress. They need to win every day. It's also something that, I think, something to consider, also.

Q. Congratulations. You may have answered this already, but over the 15 years, how do you think the game of tennis has changed the most? And secondly, tennis is about decision-making. What's the best decision you have made in terms of having all this consistency?
FELICIANO LOPEZ: The best decision? Probably to realize that I need to do something different, no, after the 30s. So to change a little bit my diet, to do a lot of fitness. Just to be fit, you know, because after the 30s, you know, I knew that it's gonna be so important for me to be very fit, because most of the opponents I play they are in between 10 or 15 years younger than me (smiling). So I need to do a lot of fitness. I was trying to be fitter enough.

What was the other question?

Q. And about how the game has changed.
FELICIANO LOPEZ: Oh. A lot. I think it's a powerful game now compared to 15 or 20 years ago when I started playing. The level of the serve has improved a lot in most of the players. You find players ranked 80, 90, that they serve really well.

There is no players now that they specialize in one particular surface. I think the game has become more, you know, from the baseline in most of the courts. So when I started playing, it was the clay court players and the grass court and the hard court players. Now everybody plays, you know, more or less the same style, I will say. But the most important, for me, the bigger change was the power in the game.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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