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July 1, 2019

Feliciano Lopez

Wimbledon, London, England

F. LOPEZ/M. Giron

6-4, 6-2, 6-4

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. You came into the grass season outside the top 100. People may have thought that with your age maybe things were going in a different direction. How pleased are you to have played so well this grass season?
FELICIANO LOPEZ: First, I'm so happy, no? I have so many reasons to be happy after Queen's, no? I came there, I was invited by the tournament, and I ended up winning the singles and doubles (smiling).

As you see, I have many reasons to be happy. It was obviously quite unexpected at 38 years old to be winning those titles in the same week. It was such a great effort, and I'm so proud. This give me a lot of confidence, you know. Might be another year playing tennis, probably.

I'll be enter all the tournaments that I like to enter. I'll be able to choose where I want to play. So, yeah, I'm very happy, also, with that week.

Q. Sorry to ask you a question which is not about on-court play, but in most political disputes, struggles, we are at least clear what the issues are. Could you tell us what the issues are with the player council and why there is so much change, please.
FELICIANO LOPEZ: There is many things going on right now in the ATP as an organization. There is probably many changes coming up. I cannot tell you obviously in detail, but everything is falling apart (smiling). I don't know why, but I don't know what's going on.

I think we still have time, so by the end of the year, we will hopefully, you know, have everything sorted out and we will have the player council again and everything's gonna be hopefully in the right direction again.

For the moment, it's kind of a mess. This is all I can tell you.

Q. You have a bit of a unique perspective being on the tournament and the players' side. Has being involved in that tournament side of things given you a better perspective than perhaps some of the players that are blinded by just prize money?
FELICIANO LOPEZ: Of course, of course. Is not only about prize money, no? Many things going on, not only prize money. Many other things that they have been under discussions during the week, with the council, with the board. It's not only about prize money. Prize money-wise I think we cannot complain, to be honest.

If you compare the prize money from when I started playing the slams and now, I think we cannot complain. I was making $10,000 first round. I'm making 50,000 now. So the increase was amazing.

This is because of the players probably, because of we deserve what we get. But there is tournaments and they are struggling economically, and they are doing a lot of efforts to get as many sponsors and to, you know, to be able to pay the prize money that we think we deserve.

But the players, they also, we have to know, because when you work on the other side, you see how difficult it is to get as many sponsors in Madrid, which is the case, I work there, and I know how difficult it is to get all those sponsors every year. Because every year is a huge increase. In the last year it was 1 million per year, and in our case, which is a combined event, it has to be double; 1 million for the men's, 1 million for the girls.

So it's a huge amount of money. There is not many tournaments that they are able to they're increasing the prize money every year.

The issues are, you know, more than prize money-wise. There is many things going on. So hopefully by the end of the year gonna be everything okay.

Q. Going back to the tennis, obviously coming off Queen's, how do you feel about your own chances for this fortnight? Can you talk a little bit about Andy Murray? You obviously had a great win with him in the men's doubles. What do you feel about his chances?
FELICIANO LOPEZ: I talk a lot about Andy during the week of Queen's, and it's a great feeling to see Andy playing tennis again, especially when he's free of pain. The hip is going in the right direction, he's not feeling pain anymore.

And as a friend, you know, as a teammate, whatever you can call him, I feel so happy for him. That's the most important thing besides that we, you know, won the tournament, everything was great, he's come back, playing with him in the UK, I won the title and then I won doubles with him. Everything was so great, but the most important thing for me, to be honest, is that Andy is healthy again.

It would be great if we can see him playing singles. This is the goal, I think, and really, I cross my fingers for this to happen. It will be amazing.

So I think if there is someone in the sport who deserves to get a new chance, it's Andy, because he went through difficult situations and he's most professional athlete I ever seen. He does everything in order to perform, to be healthy. He's taking care of everything.

So I think he deserve another chance.

Q. Your own form, still in great form through the first round?
FELICIANO LOPEZ: Yeah, I'm very happy, very happy, I'm very pleased for everything that happened the last two weeks. Winning today is also another good step. I think conditions here for the moment are quite different than Queen's.

So yeah, it was a great, great start of the week and looking forward for the next match. It's definitely I'm very happy, you know, moment or situation for me.

Q. If you look at this very impressive streak of 70 appearances in a row at the Grand Slams, which have been like the moments where you were closest to miss one?
FELICIANO LOPEZ: This one, actually. Because I got a wildcard from Wimbledon. I was out -- I didn't make the cut. I was nearly there but not enough. So I'm very thankful that they offered me the wildcard.

Q. So you never have been that close with injury...
FELICIANO LOPEZ: I don't think so, no. Not really, I was -- no, I don't think so. I have to check and verify but I don't think so.

Q. You said you cannot say the details of the decision made, but...
FELICIANO LOPEZ: No, it's not about the decision. I cannot tell the details about everything that is going on.

Q. What is more important, apart from economics, prize money?
FELICIANO LOPEZ: Many things. We don't have a CEO now, so we are looking for a president. The prize money formula, also. There is many things. So hopefully I think by the end of the year everything's gonna be okay. Because ATP has been growing lately, and I'm very confident that it's going to be like this in the future.

Q. You must be happy that Mallorca has been chosen instead of...
FELICIANO LOPEZ: What do you mean Mallorca?

Q. Grass tournament next year even if you have to play Queen's or what are you going to do?
FELICIANO LOPEZ: No, by Mallorca you mean the WTA or ATP?

Q. The ATP. The grass.
FELICIANO LOPEZ: The grass there is going to host ATP event?

Q. Yeah.
FELICIANO LOPEZ: Is that official?

Q. Well, I was told.
FELICIANO LOPEZ: Okay. Good for me. I didn't know.

Q. You must know it too.
FELICIANO LOPEZ: No, no, no, honestly I didn't know. I know WTA might be moving to Berlin, but I don't know about an ATP event there.

Q. Going back to your slam run, I think you're now only the second person to be featured in more than 70 Grand Slams along with Roger. Just wondering what do you think has been the secret of your longevity?
FELICIANO LOPEZ: There is no secret. I mean, obviously the fact that I was healthy, you know, during 20 years. This is the reason why I was able to play 70 Grand Slams in a row. I mean, I was taking care of my body. I was very professional. I was trying to extend my career as much as I could, and I'm here playing my 70th Grand Slam. So I'm so happy.

Q. Many players have gone on to be tournament directors, but it's unusual to have an active player who is a tournament director. Could you talk about the two areas? Is it harder to be a tournament director?

Q. Is it more fun for a player? Do you learn from each?
FELICIANO LOPEZ: Of course. It's a great opportunity for me. From the very beginning when I started doing my job in Madrid, I knew that it's gonna be -- I know it's going to be hard because the life of a tennis player is so easy. You only take care of yourself. You try to stay healthy. You just have to worry about practice, go and play the match. But basically nothing. You have a team surrounding you, looking after everything. That can happen. So you have no worries, basically.

And when you work in a tournament like Madrid, you have to pay attention to so many things that, you know, all of a sudden can happen. This is, you know, my job. Players, sponsors, I have to be -- I have to be there from early in the morning till late at night, because we have night sessions there.

So, yeah, it's been the real life. Because life of a tennis player is not a real life, basically, yeah.

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