VALENCIA OPEN 2012
Lopez Wins Corona 'Longest Serve' Contest
by ATP Staff|
One year on from hitting a serve of 70 metres, Spain’s Feliciano Lopez returned to win 'The Longest Serve' competition at the Valencia Open 500 once again with an effort of 65m, beating his opponents Juan Carlos Ferrero, David Ferrer and Gilles Simon.
'The Longest Serve' is an initiative by ATP’s Premier Partner and Official Beer, Corona. The event took place for the second time at the City of Arts and Sciences in Valencia, the venue of this week’s Valencia Open 500.
After a warm-up round, each player had two shots, measured by the judges. The next best distance after Lopez was set by Ferrero at 61m, followed by Simon at 60m. World No. 5 Ferrer, delivered a distance of 45m.
As champion of 'The Longest Serve', Lopez claimed a cheque of €2000, which he donated to the Juan Carlos Ferrero Foundation, as he did last year.
"It was very good and very competitive," said Lopez. "Juan Carlos made it really hard for me, but in the end, I was able to win. Although I have not lost strength, I failed to break the record I set last year. It was very difficult."
Ferrer claimed, "Feli is the strongest, but next year we will try to beat him. The longest serve is something different and fun. Last year we laughed a lot and this year again and, as it is for a good cause, all the better."
This edition of 'The Longest Serve' was especially emotional for Ferrero, who is retiring from professional tennis after the Valencia Open 500. He faces sixth seed Nicolas Almagro in the first round of the ATP World Tour 500 indoor hard court tournament.
Fans are welcome to try and break the players’ records on 26, 27 and 28 October. "I encourage the people of Valencia to come and enjoy it, it’s different," said home favourite Ferrer. "Make sure you warm up your arm first."