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The Last Time... With Feliciano Lopez

Madrid, Spain

Lopez© Getty ImagesFeliciano Lopez competes at his hometown tournament in Madrid.

Feliciano Lopez is enjoying playing at home this week at the Mutua Madrid Open. The Toledo native won his opener at the ATP World Tour Masters 1000 clay-court tournament, where he has been a quarter-finalist three times, and afterwards spoke to about the last time… 

I visited a country for the first time?
It was the Maldives. I went for a holiday with my girlfriend. It was raining non-stop for four days. We were planning to stay longer but, because of the weather, we came back early.

I cooked for myself or others?
I have no idea, man! (laughs).

I flew economy class?
Last week, when I came back from Munich to Madrid. I normally do it in Europe. If it’s a short flight (two-three hours), I normally go economy. If we go on a long trip, we do it on business. I normally ask the girl in the agency for the emergency exit seats so we can get more space.

I met a childhood idol?
Maybe not from my childhood, but last week in Munich I went to visit [Real Madrid footballers] Iker Casillas and Sergio Ramos before the match they had to play against Bayern Munich. I gave them some good luck!

I shared a hotel room with another player?
This year at the Australian Open with Marc Lopez. It was very nice. I have shared a room with him the past two years in Australia and we really enjoy our time together. He is one of my best friends on tour. We stay in a beautiful place where we have restaurants, cinemas, casinos. So every night we can go and play some blackjack together. 
I paid money to hire a court or buy tennis balls?
Two weeks ago, here in Madrid, we were trying to get some specific balls. I tried to get hold of the guy that normally provides them, but I couldn’t reach him on the phone. So I went to a big sports store and bought a few cans just for the practice sessions.

I forgot a family member’s birthday?
A few months ago I forgot my grandfather’s birthday. My mom didn’t remind me, so I forgot. I called him the day after. It was still okay, but I have to admit that I forgot.

Being famous helped me?
On the way to Munich last week, I bought an economy ticket. The guy at the check-in recognised me, so he checked my bags in priority. I had three bags, and they only accept one, I think, if you fly economy. He gave me all the bags for free, just because he knew me. 

I strung a tennis racquet?
A long time ago. For two or three years, when I moved to Barcelona to practise, we used to string our racquets. Some of the guys who were with me at the time had a few machines and we were doing it ourselves. I was terrible! I must admit it. After two years I started to leave the racquets to someone else to string for me. 

I lost something important?
Last year, in Paris, I lost a very important watch that I liked very much. I never did find it.

I last asked someone for their autograph?
It was Kobe Bryant at the Olympic Games in London. He gave me one, and pictures as well!

I missed a flight?
I’ve only missed one flight since I started travelling as a tennis player. It was from Barcelona to Lisbon. We were going to play Estoril, and we were eating something at the airport waiting for the flight to be called. We didn’t hear the announcement and when we went to the gate, the flight was already closed. We took the next flight two or three hours later. I was with Alberto Berasategui and our coach at that time, Francisco Roig.

I drove myself to a tournament?
I only drive when we play Davis Cup at home. I normally take my car from Madrid and go wherever we are playing in Spain.

I visited my childhood tennis club?
I was 16 years old. We lived in Melilla when I was young and that is where I started to play tennis. I went back 15 years ago.

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