Feliciano Lopez to play his 60th consecutive Grand Slam tournament
When he walks on court at Melbourne Park next week, Feliciano Lopez will reach the magic figure of 60 consecutive appearances at Grand Slam tournaments. The Toledano player’s run started in 2002 at the French Open and is the longest current streak. Roger Federer’s record of 61 consecutive grand slam appearances came to an end in 2016 when the Swiss legend missed the French Open. Lopez will surpass that mark if he stays fit for the French Open and Wimbledon.
Lopez is also moving up the list of total grand slam appearances with 60. Federer is on his way to his 65th Grand Slam match. Frenchman Fabrice Santoro is top of the list with 70. The only other player ahead of Lopez is Russian Mikhail Youzhny on 62 appearances.
Lopez clearly surpasses his Spanish colleagues. David Ferrer will match the 56 Grand Slam tournaments that have been played by Tommy Robredo and Fernando Verdasco will reach 55. Rafa Nadal has suffered several injuries throughout his career that have damaged his record. The Majorcan has contested 46 grand slams and will be hoping that number will rise to 50 with an injury free 2017 season.
Lopez's "loyalty" to these Grand Slam tournaments is the same as the Barcelona Open Banc Sabadell, a competition he has played 16 times.
So far this season Lopez has played in the Hopman Cup next to Lara Arruabarrena, and this week has participated in the tournament in Auckland. The sixth seeded Lopez started with victory over the Australian Michael Venus. After a walkover because of Jeremy Chardy’s withdrawal, he lost in 3 sets to the fourth seeded American Jack Sock.
Lopez starts the Australian Open against the Italian Fabio Fognini, who has won the only two times they have played against each other: once in 2015 at the USA Open and again at Wimbledon last year.
The best Grand Slam tournaments of Feliciano Lopez's prodigious career are as follows:
2015 US Open - quarterfinal against Novak Djokovic 1-6, 6-3, 3-6, 6-7 (2)
2015 Australian Open - eighth to Milos Raonic 4-6, 6-4, 3-6, 7-6 (7), 3-6
2011 Wimbledon - quarterfinal against Andy Murray 3-6, 4-6, 4-6
2008 Wimbledon - quarterfinals against Marat Safin 6-3, 5-7, 6-7 (1), 3-6
2005 Wimbledon - quarterfinal against Lleyton Hewitt 5-7, 4-6, 6-7 (2)
2004 Roland Garros - eighth-finals against Gustavo Kuerten 3-6, 5-7, 4-6