Acapulco, March 1st – A farewell announced the beginning of Feliciano López’s farewell tour as a professional player suffered its first setback after the Spaniard was defeated in the second round of the Acapulco Open 500 by American (US) Frances Tiafoe (No. 15), who won 6-2, 7-6 (6).
Ninety minutes of match were necessary for the American, who this year arrived with his best level in Acapulco, to defeat the still doubles champion in what was his last participation in the Mexican tournament. Last year, Feliciano López announced his upcoming retirement at the age of 41, so a quick stop at one of his favorite events throughout the season was a must.
“It was an exciting match, I had a bad start but I really enjoyed the second set, I think I was close to turn it around and go to a third set. The atmosphere was spectacular from the first minute, the crowd was great, the court was full from the moment we entered. That’s what we play tennis for, so they keep a memory of that day when they watch a certain match,” he began by saying in his last press conference in Mexico after the defeat.
“I feel very fortunate to have been able to experience everything that has happened here since I arrived, it’s the best way to say goodbye playing against the best in the world and being competitive, enjoying it. At times I played at a good level against a player who is one of the best in the world today. I hadn’t played at this level for a long time. I was uncertain about how my body and my tennis would respond, but the feelings good,” added the Spaniard.
As one of the most consistent tennis players every year in Acapulco, Feliciano López has been able to witness every detail of the growth of the ATP 500 tournament and about the XXX anniversary he confessed why it´s the best tournament in Latin America.
“The biggest example is the stadium we are in, it wouldn’t have happened without 30 years of work. The change of surface in my opinion, gave it a plus to be able to have the tournament they have today. It´s the best tournament of the Latin American tour by far, that is the reality. They are the best in the world. I am lucky enough to work in a tournament as well and I know how difficult it is, that’s why every year they have the tournament they have, everybody wants to be here”, he declared.
Regarding his best memories in Mexican territory he assures that the hospitality of the Mexicans was key for him to come back every year. “The personal lesson is the hospitality of the people in Mexico, I can say that they are the most affectionate people, at least with the Spaniards. The treatment is exceptional in every way, that’s why I like this country so much and so many things. On the sporting side I have great memories, maybe winning last year with Stefanos, we had a great week.”
Feliciano also shares what are his plans for a future, after tennis. “My life changed since my son was born two years ago, like any family. I’ve been able to travel, continue playing together with him and my wife. It has been a nice stage to see your son in the stands applauding, I feel lucky. I will have more time to dedicate to the Madrid tournament. I hope to continue playing tennis at senior level, it has been my passion, I love it, I’m going to miss it, but thank God I´ve had a very nice life” he concluded.
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