Queen’s tennis: Feliciano Lopez defeats Gilles Simon in gruelling final before partnering Andy Murray in doubles

The veteran Spaniard won the championship tiebreak to secure his second title at Queen's in three years

Martyn Herman
Sunday 23 June 2019 17:09
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Tennis players pay tribute to Andy Murray

Spanish veteran Feliciano Lopez won the Queen’s Club grasscourt title for the second time in three editions on Sunday as he outlasted Frenchman Gilles Simon 6-2 6-7(4) 7-6(2).

The 37-year-old left-hander, who had won only three matches all year before Queen’s and needed a wildcard to the main draw, appeared to be closing in on victory in the second set tiebreak.

But the gritty Simon used his metronomic baseline game to work his way back into an absorbing contest.

Both players had chances to break serve early in the decider but Lopez, despite an incredible workload in the past 24 hours in which he has also reached the doubles final with Andy Murray, had just enough left in the tank.

He pressed hard with Simon serving at 5-6 and a punishing forehand return brought up matchpoint but he netted a forehand return off an inviting second serve with Simon eventually holding after 12 minutes to set up a tiebreak.

The Spaniard celebrates his victory

Lopez pulled away in the tiebreak though and with the match approaching the three-hour mark Simon netted a volley to end it.

He is the first wildcard to win the prestigious pre-Wimbledon title since American Pete Sampras 20 years ago.

Reuters

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