With his three-set win over Gilles Simon (3-6, 6-3 y 6-7), Feliciano López sealed his pass to the next round of the Mutua Madrid Open. The next hurdle he has to clear will be world number 2 Novak Djokovic. The Spaniard was happy with his day’s work and with his current form: “I really am very happy. In a year that started badly for me, with my back problems, I am much better and I feel competitive on court. Playing like I should be”, he recognized in a press conference.
The player from Toledo is now focusing on his next match: “Tomorrow I have to serve well, it is the main weapon I have to take on Novak”, he stated. “I have to try and play intelligent tactics”, he added. Djokovic knocked out another Spaniard, Nicolás Almagro, to reach the third round.
Feliciano, has played the Serb on previous occasions and managed to cause him significant difficulties: “I think New York was the best match I have played against him. In Belgrade I also had a chance to win”, he remembered. He then came back to the present to make it clear that the ATP world number 2 continues to be a dangerous player: “I saw the match against Almagro and I think he played very well”, he said. “Perhaps he is a lacking a little confidence, just like I and everyone else are. But I expect the Novak Djokovic we all know”, he stated.
He also had time for a brief look back at his history at the Mutua Madrid Open since his first year in 2002: “When they gave me the invitation it was a dream for me to play at the tournament. Suddenly I was in the third round and playing against one of my childhood heroes and I nearly beat him”, he said with a hint of nostalgia.
Returning to his next match at the tournament, he was keen to highlight the respect he has for his opponent and how much he loves playing in the Caja Mágica: “Playing against one of the best players in history at home is a bonus”, he said.