Justice has not been done with Feliciano López Díaz-Guerra (Toledo, 1981). Now that he has turned 40, that his days as a professional are over and that he has left the Top-100 of the ATP ranking, the tennis player has just set a record that will be very difficult to beat. Curiously, he arrives after a defeat, on a remote track, without television cameras and with hardly any public.
Feliciano López fell this week against the Italian Gian Marco Moroni 1-6 and 6-7 (4) in the first round of the Roland Garros qualifiers, he will not be in the main draw and it will be the first time he does not play the individual tournament of a Grand Slam in 20 years.
The man from Toledo made his debut at Roland Garros 2001, with a first-round defeat against Carlos Moyá (6-1, 6-4, 6-0).
Then he did not play a Grand Slam again until Roland Garros the following year, when he beat fellow Spaniard Didac Pérez (4-6, 6-4, 6-2, 4-6 and 6-4) and lost in the second round. against the German Tommy Haas (6-3, 6-4 and 6-4).
Exactly two decades have passed since then. As an example of his extraordinary longevity, it is worth noting that of the 32 seeds at Roland Garros 2002, all have already retired, except one: Roger Federer. These were the top ten favorites by ranking: Lleyton Hewitt (1), Marat Safin (2), Tommy Haas (3), Andre Agassi (4), Yevgeny Kafelnikov (5), Tim Henman (6), Gustavo Kuerten (7) , Roger Federer (8), Thomas Johansson (9) and Sébastien Grosjean (10). However, the tournament was won in the final by Albert Costa against Juan Carlos Ferrero (6-1, 6-0, 4-6 and 6-3).
'Feli' also holds the record for most Masters 1,000 appearances, where he has played 139 tournaments to Federer's 138. And he could still surpass the Swiss in Grand Slam appearances, since the Swiss has been in 81 and the man from Toledo in 80 (to the 79 consecutive appearances, Roland Garros 2001 must be added).
The left-hander from Toledo, who became number 12 in the ATP ranking in 2015 and is now also the director of the Mutua Madrid Open, is very close to reaching 1,000 matches on the circuit. At the moment, his balance is 503 wins and 480 losses. He has won seven singles titles: Queen's, on grass (2017 and 2019); Vienna, on a hard court (2004); Johannesburg, on hard court (2010); Eastbourne, on grass (2013 and 2014); and Gstaad, on clay (2016). Those of Queen's are the most important being ATP 500 category, while the rest were ATP 250.
In the Grand Slams he has managed to reach the quarterfinals four times: three at Wimbledon (2005, 2008 and 2011) and once at the US Open (2015), falling against Lleyton Hewitt, Marat Safin, Andy Murray and Novak Djokovic, respectively. Both his great serve and his good performance at the net have undoubtedly favored him on fast surfaces such as grass and hard courts.
In addition, 'Feli' has been a fundamental piece with Spain in the Davis Cup, achieving up to five 'salad bowls' (2004, 2008, 2009, 2011 and 2019). In them he won very important points in singles and doubles, sharing a team with a long list of great tennis players: Rafa Nadal, Carlos Moyá, Tommy Robredo, Juan Carlos Ferrero, Alberto Martín, David Ferrer, Fernando Verdasco, Nicolás Almagro, Marcel Granollers, Pablo Carreno and Roberto Bautista.
Meanwhile, in doubles, he has lifted six titles. The most important was Roland Garros, with Marc López as a partner in 2016. In addition, Stockholm (2004), Doha (2016), Barcelona (2018), Queen's (2019) and Acapulco (2022).