Khaleej Times

Lopez beats Cilic in Queen’s final


LONDON — Feliciano Lopez won the Queen’s Club title in dramatic fashion as the Spaniard saved a match point before defeating Marin Cilic 4-6, 7-6 (7/2), 7-6 (10/8) on Sunday.

Trailing by a set to the bigserving Cilic, Lopez held his nerve in a gripping finale to overwhelm the world number seven and secure his first ATP title since Gstaad in July 2016.

It was a sweet moment for world number 32 Lopez, who held a championsh­ip point in the 2014 Queen’s final before losing in three sets to Grigor Dimitrov.

The 35-year-old avenged that painful loss by beating Dimitrov in the semifinals on Saturday and now he has his hands on the trophy at last.

It is Lopez’s third title on grass after winning Eastbourne in 2013 and 2014, earning him a cheque for 395,690 euros ($442,915). “Wow. I can’t believe I finally won this trophy. I’ve been waiting so long,” Lopez said. “I thought until the end that I wouldn’t make it, but I was a little bit lucky and it went my way. “It was so difficult to handle my nerves when I was serving for the match.”

Lopez is the oldest Queen’s champion in the Open era.

Having reached the Stuttgart final last week before losing to Lucas Pouille, Lopez has now won nine of his 10 matches on grass this year, raising hopes of a strong run at Wimbledon, which gets underway on July 3.

“It’s hard to believe I’m playing my best tennis at 35, but yes I am,” he said.

“There’s no better situation than to go into Wimbledon after winning here.”

It was a frustratin­g defeat for former US Open champion Cilic, who came agonisingl­y close to adding a second Queen’s title to the one he won in 2012.

His blistering serve had been virtually unplayable over the last week and, in four matches en route to the final, he was broken just once. —

 ?? AFP ?? Lopez with the trophy. —
AFP Lopez with the trophy. —

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from United Arab Emirates