The Spaniard battled from two sets down and cracked a number of statistical milestones.
By Chris Oddo | @TheFanChild | Thursday February 11, 2021
Feliciano Lopez was giving thought to ending one of the greatest streaks in tennis history in January. The 39-year-old has played every Grand Slam main draw since the Roland Garros in 2002, but after the birth of his son in January, he considered ending his streak at 74.
After careful consideration, Lopez decided to travel to Australia. The rest, as they say is history—and then some.
Not only did Lopez stretch his streak to 75 consecutive Grand Slam main draws played, he has also reached the third round, which makes him the oldest ATP player to take his spot in the third round at a major since the great Ken Rosewall in 1978.
Even more impressive was how the 39-year-old got it done on Day 4. He battled back from two sets to love down to defeat Lorenzo Sonego, 5-7, 3-6, 6-3, 7-5, 6-4.
It’s Lopez’s sixth career comeback from two sets down at Slam, and the achievement means that he becomes the oldest man to rally from two sets down at a Slam since 1974 (Ken Rosewall topped Stan Smith in the Wimbledon semifinals).
After the match Lopez was asked how the victory stacked up with his other comebacks from 0-2 down at the Slams.
Well maybe pole position, I don't know,” he said. “As you know, to win a match in a slam for me now is very special. If I do it the way I did today, even more. Imagine how this, how special it can be for me to win a match after two sets 2-Love down against him, he's a great player. So for me to win today I think it's over any expectations, honestly, coming here with very short preparation.
“As I said the day before in the press conference, I became father just lately, I didn't practice much and my preparation was the quarantine here. So to be in the third round now it's something very special for me. So that's why I'm very happy today.”
The 39-year-old Spaniard will next face Russia’s Andrey Rublev, the No.7 seed. It’s a difficult task, but most important, one that is well-earned.
Even if Lopez can’t pull the shocker, he’s already does his part to rewrite the record books, and show us all that age is just a number.
Read more: tennisnow.com