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August 27, 2005

Feliciano Lopez

NEW HAVEN, CONNECTICUT, F. LOPEZ/D. Ferrer 4-6, 6-3, 6-2

MODERATOR: Making his third career ATP finals appearance, Feliciano Lopez. Questions, please.

Q. How does it feel to be back in the finals again of a tournament?

FELICIANO LOPEZ: For sure I have to be happy. This is the third time I will play Finals in the ATP so I must be happy for that. Especially today I beat one guy who is playing very good this year, so I hope this match give me some confidence for tomorrow.

Q. Are you happy not to play someone from Spain tomorrow?

FELICIANO LOPEZ: Yeah, I played last two rounds I played against the Spanish guys, so it's better tomorrow to play against James or Hanescu, probably they don't know me. As a Spanish, they know me.

Q. Did this feel like yesterday where you had a good first set and a bad second set and came back strong in the third set, did it feel like that at all?


Q. Yes.

FELICIANO LOPEZ: I think I start the match playing quite good, but once I get the break in the 3-All, then he started to play better than me. I went down a little bit. But then I get an early break in the second set and right after that I was playing better and better and finally at the end of the match I think I played probably the best tennis during the whole week.

Q. That game he broke you in the first set, he fell down and it looked like he was hurt. Then he won --

FELICIANO LOPEZ: I thought he twisted his ankle but it was something different. He didn't twist his ankle. But that was, you know, I was surprised because it seems like he twisted the ankle and I was a little bit embarrassing because of that, but finally he was okay.

Q. He won nine straight points after he fell down?


Q. Yeah.


Q. Nine points in a row.

FELICIANO LOPEZ: I didn't know that.

Q. Did that throw you off a little bit?

FELICIANO LOPEZ: No, no, no. Just something that happens. I didn't know that he won nine points in a row.

Q. You seemed to find your serve in the third when you needed it the most?

FELICIANO LOPEZ: Yeah, I served pretty good in the third set. Probably, I don't know how many aces I did, but probably a lot.

Q. Anything different?

FELICIANO LOPEZ: Especially in the 15-40, I served very good there.

Q. Anything different about the serve? Was it just a matter --

FELICIANO LOPEZ: Serve is my best weapon, so tried to go for it when in the critical moment, breakpoints and these kind of points, so --

Q. Even though he's from Spain you have never played him in a professional tournament. Have you hit with him much or anything like that?

FELICIANO LOPEZ: Yeah. We, all of the Spanish guys we hit quite often because we spend our time together and we try to hit -- it's easy to hit with the Spanish guys, you see them all around, you say we hit tomorrow, okay, it's much easier for us. Because the other guys them, but you don't know them that much as the Spanish so it's easy to go with them. We go for dinner, for example, one night and we just say tomorrow we play together. So it's easy for us this way.

Q. Before the match I saw you throwing an American football around it looked like. Talk about what you were doing out there before the match to warm-up.

FELICIANO LOPEZ: Yeah, just for warming up, I like to before the match and always before practicing also we do this, these things not to -- to warm-up a little bit and to feel good.

Q. To get you loose?

FELICIANO LOPEZ: Good for the shoulders. We throw the ball, we try to move a little bit. Just to get a good start in the match.

Q. Seemed like you got a good fan following, not like James Blake but it seems like people were cheering for you a lot.

FELICIANO LOPEZ: The fans were incredible. It was quite a good point to win the match, quite exciting points, I think they enjoyed the match a lot. So hopefully tomorrow James, I don't know if he wins, the crowd is going to be against me for sure, but you know --

Q. Your thoughts on those two players? Have you played them? Do you know much about either one of them?

FELICIANO LOPEZ: I didn't play them. James for sure I didn't play. And the other guy, I think I didn't play either.

Q. Are you going to watch the match tonight?

FELICIANO LOPEZ: What time they play?

Q. 7:30.

FELICIANO LOPEZ: What is the time now?

Q. In an hour.

FELICIANO LOPEZ: I don't think so. Probably on TV.

Q. Just going to rest tonight?

FELICIANO LOPEZ: Yeah. I will go to the hotel now and then probably I will watch the match from the room.

Q. Seemed like you were hitting to his backhand as much as you could avoiding his forehand?

FELICIANO LOPEZ: Try to play my tennis, try to serve good, to go to the net sometimes, but he's a great fighter. He's very quick, and when you hit the winners the ball is always coming back and you have to hit another winner and then another one, so it's tough not to play against him. You have to win the points always three or four times until you win finally the point.

Q. You were chipping a lot of shots back. Were you afraid of his pace?


Q. Afraid --

FELICIANO LOPEZ: Chip and charge sometimes to don't give any rhythm to the opponent. It's good.

Q. What did you guys say, anything after the match?

FELICIANO LOPEZ: We just said like we didn't play really good match. This is what I told him and he was agreeing but it was also difficult. It was a little bit windy today and it was not that easy to play.

Q. Is that what happened in that one serve that went --

FELICIANO LOPEZ: Yeah. I threw the ball in the air and then I couldn't hit the ball good because the ball was like so far away I could not hit it.

Q. If you have got to play Blake tomorrow what is going to be important for you to do?

FELICIANO LOPEZ: For me? Just, you know, just play my tennis. Of course my serve has to work as I did today. Serve is very important for me and -- but usually I don't think, you know, so much in the game of the opponents. I just try to play my best tennis and go there and fight and, you know, that's all what I think.

Q. Would have been the same for Hanescu?


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