Wimbledon most open for a decade, says contender Lopez

Elias Hubbard
June 26, 2017

It was a sweet moment for world number 32 Lopez, who held a championship point in the 2014 Queen's final before losing in three sets to Grigor Dimitrov.

'It's interesting that he [Lopez] won a tournament and that I'm the favourite, ' Cilic joked.

Yet for the first half of the match on Sunday, he was second best as Cilic, bidding for a second title after winning in 2012 when David Nalbandian was defaulted for injuring a line judge in a fit of temper, dominated.

The 35-year-old avenged that painful loss by beating Dimitrov in the semi-finals on Saturday and now he has his hands on the trophy at last.

Ecstatic to win the trophy, Lopez said that he had been waiting for it from so long before admitting that he was a little bit lucky to make the cut. He graciously thanked the fans and the tournament's organizers, telling them that it was an honor to play there and that the event was one of the best that the ATP has to offer.

On the same day, Federer comprehensively beat Alexander Zverev in the final in Halle, and has been tipped by many, including Lopez, to lift an eighth Wimbledon crown. "I knew it would be hard today but I've played some of my best tennis all week".

Feliciano Lopez battles back to overcome Marin Cilic and secure his maiden Aegon Championships title at Queen's Club on Sunday.

His blistering serve had been virtually unplayable over the last week and, in four matches en route to the final, he was broken just once. Cilic dropped only eight points on serve and did not face a break point; Lopez dropped only six on serve and did not face a break point.

Cilic will play Feliciano Lopez in the final of the men's singles at Queen's Club
Cilic will play Feliciano Lopez in the final of the men's singles at Queen's Club

Energized by that escape, Cilic turned up the pressure on Lopez with some crunching returns.

Cilic brought up match point with an ace but Lopez saved it when he cut off the Croat's attempted pass with a stretching volley.

Cilic, a former U.S. Open champion, looks like being a danger at Wimbledon, where he has reached the quarterfinals in the past three years.

The Spaniard, long a threat on grass and a two-time Eastbourne victor as well as a three-time Wimbledon quarterfinalist, has been on the other side of the emotional spectrum at Queen's before.

The Croatian won 93 per cent of points on his first serve, driving Lopez into the backcourt.

In a thrilling denouement, Lopez saved a match point with a lunging volley, then watched as Cilic fired a blistering ace and then a nerveless volley to deny him on two match points.

This time he converted as a Cilic forehand landed wide and a visibly relieved Lopez finally was able to celebrate.

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Other reports by Click Lancashire

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