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October 16, 2009

Feliciano Lopez


F. LOPEZ/R. Soderling
7-6, 6-3

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. I think I'm right in saying it's your first Masters semifinal?
FELICIANO LOPEZ: Yeah. It is, yeah.

Q. And a very impressive way to get there, as well?
FELICIANO LOPEZ: It's true. I've been on the court a few times, but it's true that it's my first semis, and I'm so happy because I won already four matches this week against four great players, so I have to be happy for that; even more, being in the semis of a 1000 event.

Q. You've had a few disappointments this year, haven't you, along the way? Some early exits from tournaments? So what was your motivation coming into this part of the year?
FELICIANO LOPEZ: I just -- I was trying hard, and it just didn't happen, no? I was losing a lot of tournaments in the first round, which is tough for me to get into the rhythm and to have some confidence, no?
I'm the kind of player who really needs few matches, and then I start to become more dangerous for them. And this year I was terrible since I start in January, so it's a bit late now. It's almost the end of the season, but I happy for that.

Q. Soderling was very impressive yesterday, so what was your game plan going into today's match? Because Soderling was very powerful yesterday and looked very good.
FELICIANO LOPEZ: Yeah, I think I played a pretty good match. To be honest, everything went perfectly on the court. And I think I have a game maybe again which is difficult for some kind of players, no?
He's very solid from the baseline, but I was trying to be aggressive, to go to the net to make him also coming in a little bit. So I just tried to play my best tennis and to play my best weapons as best as I can, no?
I think if my game plan today was to beat Soderling from the baseline, I think that that wouldn't work, so I think I did what I have to do.

Q. It's always difficult to presume who you might play, but if it were to be Rafa, what would the excitement levels be in that one? How would you approach that particular game?
FELICIANO LOPEZ: Of course I want Rafa to win. I prefer to play Rafa instead of Ljubicic, no? Once I'm there in the semis, I prefer to play against Rafa, no? I'm playing so good, and it's going to be interesting match to watch, no?
We play a few times. I think on clay will be crazy to think about winning him, no? But if I play good, if I keep playing like this, I will have my chances, no?
So I'm really, really happy to approach this match against Rafa if he wins tonight, so I think it would be interesting. It's a great goal to play Rafa in the semis, no? For me, it's an honor to be there and to play against No. 2 in the world.

Q. (In Chinese.) Last week in China Open, ATP 500, you fell in the first round, but in the Shanghai ATP 1000, now you're going to be in the semifinal. So what happened? How did you improve between these two weeks?
FELICIANO LOPEZ: Well, it's a good question, eh?
I was talking to my coach right now after the match, and he just said, Did you remember playing against David Young in the quallies in Beijing? And I said, Better not remember, no?
He just wanted me to realize the difference that I made between this match last week and the match I played today, no?
But unfortunately I'm this kind of player. I can play very good one week and terrible the next week, but I was convinced that sooner or later it's going to come, and this week I'm playing really, really good.

Q. (In Chinese.) A lot of the fans cheer for you. So it seems today it's your home game. So did you expect to be so welcomed in Shanghai?
FELICIANO LOPEZ: No, I think it's a lot of fans in China in general. They love tennis, and with the Masters Cup here, I think that makes tennis popular in China. We are so great to have great support on the court, and it's really nice to have a lot of people there supporting you when you play. It's definitely a good country for me, and I hope to come here many, many years.

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