Tennis player Feliciano Lopez isn’t a household name, but he made headlines while teaming up with Andy Murray in doubles at an ATP Tour event in Montreal. Unfortunately, the 37-year-old Spaniard made headlines for doing something that would more likely land on SportsCenter’s “Not Top-10.” Before exploring Lopez’s blunder, let’s learn some background info.
Who is Feliciano Lopez?
Lopez has been on the pro tennis circuit since 1997. He played in his first ATP Tour event the following year, but he didn’t make regular appearances on tour until 2002. With seven career singles titles and five doubles championships, his only Grand Slam title was in doubles at the 2016 French Open.
Lopez’s best Grand Slam finish on the singles side was in the quarterfinals at the 2015 U.S. Open as well as Wimbledon in 2005, 2008, and 2011. The lefty is known for his strong serve, and he plays best on grass courts, which explains the multiple deep runs he’s made at Wimbledon.
Lopez’s famous doubles partner Andy Murray
Compare Lopez’s career to Murray’s. The Englishman has won three Grand Slam titles, tasting victory at the 2012 U.S. Open and at Wimbledon in both 2013 and 2016. Since playing in his first ATP Tour event in 2005, Murray has amassed a 663-193 career record between matches on the ATP Tour, Grand Slam main draws, and Davis Cup tournaments.
The 32-year-old has participated in the tennis events at three Summer Olympics. After losing his first-round match at Beijing in 2008, Murray earned gold at both the 2012 and 2016 Olympics, as well as a silver medal in mixed doubles at the 2012 games.
Lopez’s blunder in Montreal
That brings us to Montreal 2019 when Lopez and Murray paired up at the Rogers Cup. The duo was up 4-3 in the first set against Jeremy Chardy and Fabrice Martin. With the two Frenchmen up 40-0, Lopez violated one of the first rules of tennis that kids learn when they start playing: Don’t touch a ball that’s going out of bounds.
The volley from the near court was very much off the mark — obviously headed well out of bounds. Instead of letting it go to win the point, Lopez had a brain freeze and inexplicably caught the ball on his racket. He apparently didn’t realize it right away. Murray, on the other hand, did react, looking completely baffled at his teammate.
The unforced error wasn’t too costly as Lopez and Murray went on to win the first set. Unfortunately, it was the only set they won as Chardy and Martin won the second-round match in three sets. The Chardy-Martin duo ultimately lost in the quarterfinals. Lopez seemed to take things in stride afterward, making light of the situation by saying, “At least I am the only one at something.”
The aftermath of the mistake
Murray apparently wasn’t too upset with Lopez. The two teamed up again the week after the Rogers Cup, partnering in the doubles tournament at the Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati.
While Lopez didn’t make any headline-grabbing bloopers in that tournament, they didn’t get much further than they did at the Rogers Cup. After winning their first two matches, Lopez and Murray lost to the British duo of Neal Skupski and Jamie Murray, Andy’s 33-year-old older brother, in the quarterfinal.