(June 25, 2017) Spain’s Feliciano Lopez saved a match point in the third set tiebreaker to beat Marin Cilic 4-6, 7-6 (2), 7-6 (8) to win The Queen’s Club title in London on Sunday.
World No. 32 Lopez, who lost the final back in 2014, said it was a tough match and it’s the biggest tournament title of his career.
“It was a very close match. I mean, this is a match I expected, to be honest. Playing against Marin on grass, I knew it was going to be like this. It’s only two, three points at the end that makes the difference.
“First set was a break that he played really well at 5-4. I got broken. Then we went into the tiebreak second set. I played really well there. I played some great points. I won the set.
“And the third set was very equal. I mean, I knew it was going to be another tiebreak. Then it’s one or two points, as I said before.”
“To be honest, when I lost the match points serving for the match, I thought then I’m not gonna make it again. My thoughts were on that match in 2014 where I lost against Grigor (Dimitrov). And it was tough to handle the situation, no? I was just trying to fight. I couldn’t do anything. Those moments where you are so tight, you just fight, you try to put the ball in, that’s it. Try to serve like the best that you can do.
“Serve there is so important. He save one match point with an ace. After I lost the match point I serve another ace. So, yeah, serve is pretty important there.”
“I think it’s the best week of my career, I would say. To win this tournament at this stage of my career, I mean, this is so amazing.
“I was waiting so long to win this title. Queen’s is the best, I think. Outside of the Grand Slams, this is one of the most special tournaments. You feel the atmosphere here, all over the years, a tradition that this tournament, the players that have won in the past. For me to be here on Sunday holding the trophy, it’s the best feeling I can have.”
“Looking at the whole week, it was great tennis for me, ” said former titlist and world No. 7 Cilic. “I have to say maybe one of the best grass-court tournaments for me overall throughout my career, looking at the consistency of my game. I lost my serve only once during the whole week, which is amazing, considering last week I didn’t lose serve in The Netherlands, too. That makes it even better.”
Lopez had a challenging road to the title, beating Stan Wawrinka, Tomas Berdych, Grigor Dimitrov and Cilic.
“I think beating I think four top 10 players in the same week, this is pretty amazing,” Lopez said. “Yeah. It’s also more — not more important, but the fact that I have played these guys this week and be able to beat them, it gives me even more confidence, no? Because sometimes the draw, it becomes open after some of the top guys they lose, but in my case, it was not like this, no? From the very beginning I had the best players in the draw.
“So that gives me a lot of energy for, you know, for the rest of the season.”
Just three weeks ago, Lopez lost to Cilic in straight sets at the French Open.
The Aegon championships is Lopez’s sixth career title, third on grass.