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August 26, 2005

Feliciano Lopez

NEW HAVEN, CONNECTICUT, F.LOPEZ/F. Verdasco 6-4, 1-6, 6-2

Q. Talked about playing your brother yesterday. What was it like being out there against him?

FELICIANO LOPEZ: Well, it was a difficult match. I am happy because I won, but it's always difficult to play against a friend. We know each other since many years and he knows my game. I know his game, so it's such a difficult match to play. I was lucky that I win.

Q. When you step on the court and you look across the net do you see him as a friend?

FELICIANO LOPEZ: No, I see him as an opponent when you go out on the court, but it's difficult to see him as an opponent there because we spend our time together always and then the guys in front of you, you have to beat him, or at least try to play your best tennis to beat him. It's difficult, but it's the way it is. We play for sure more times against, so this is what I have to do.

Q. Is there more pressure on you guys both being from Spain, the fact that you are playing a fellow countrymen and it is a big deal back home if one of you should win?

FELICIANO LOPEZ: No, I don't think so. It's just a normal match as all of them, but it's difficult because I know him a lot and he knows me as well. This is the only thing that makes the match a little bit difficult.

Q. Your dad didn't teach him everything, all the tricks?


Q. How key is it when you go to a third set to get out early like you did, you got an early break there in the third, does that give you a lot of confidence when that happens?

FELICIANO LOPEZ: Sure, the match was close, but after I get this break I was more confident. I was -- I almost break him twice in the third set, so after this game, I get a lot of confidence on my game and I was playing better and better.

Q. Was there a point in the second set down 4-Love, 5-Love, when you just throw it away and start thinking about the third?

FELICIANO LOPEZ: After 5-Love for sure, but when I was 2-Love, 3-Love, you know, the games were going to him and I really didn't realize what happened. I was playing -- trying to play the same way as I did in the first set but he was playing better, so then I lost the second set and in the third set I just tried to do the same and finally I get an early break and then I won the match. But he was playing good during the whole match, but the first game of the match I get a break. The first game he serve in the third set I get a break as well. So it was two critical points for him and that's all. But I think he played a good match.

Q. Do you guys ever have friendly wagers on your matches; does he owe you dinner?

FELICIANO LOPEZ: Probably we are going to have dinner tonight together, yeah.

Q. Will he buy?

FELICIANO LOPEZ: No, he stay here tonight and he's leaving to New York, we will probably go for dinner tonight.

Q. Talk about being in the semifinals in this tournament; what does that mean for you?

FELICIANO LOPEZ: It means a lot, especially because I didn't win so many matches this month. I lost twice in the first round Montreal and Cincinnati and now I won three matches already, so it's good for my game, good for my confidence, good for next week because this is what I need now to win a few matches before the US Open and now I am in the semifinals. I feel ready for tomorrow. Hopefully I can win tomorrow and then on Sunday and win my second ATP title. But that's still a little bit far.

Q. Do you still remember when you won the first title, what your emotions were?

FELICIANO LOPEZ: The first title is the most difficult one, so once you get it you feel so happy. I remember it was a very tough match, five sets; against a great fighter. I was really happy at the time. Hopefully I can feel the same now here on Sunday.

Q. Do you think when you won that there are going to be a lot more coming right away or did you think you may have to wait for another title, did you have any thoughts like that?

FELICIANO LOPEZ: Well, the titles they are coming -- you never know when the title is going to come because it's difficult. You have to play good and you have to be lucky. It is many things that has to happen to win an ATP title because all of the guys they play good tennis so it is difficult.

Q. Hit any linesmen today with your serves?

FELICIANO LOPEZ: No. I didn't hit anyone. Yesterday, I was really nervous because I saw him 130 miles per hour or something like that so it is quite dangerous.

Q. You could be playing another countrymen, Ferrer has an early lead, talk about what it would be like?

FELICIANO LOPEZ: He's winning, I don't know?

Q. 4-1.

FELICIANO LOPEZ: He will probably win against -- he's playing very good. He's a great player. He played very good from the baseline, so, what I have to do is to attack and to play my tennis, which is serve and volley a little bit and try to move him like from the baseline because he's very good player there. They are very good friends as well. They practice together so it is going to be difficult for them as well.

End of FastScripts….

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