Feliciano Lopez joins Roger Federer and Jimmy Connors on a Major record

Since the start of the Open era in 1968, only six players have played at a single Major at least 20 times. The only names on that exclusive list are Jimmy Connors, Andre Agassi, Fabrice Santoro, Lleyton Hewitt, Roger Federer, and Feliciano Lopez. Jimmy Connors did that at the US Open and Wimbledon, while Roger Federer has at least 20 appearances at Wimbledon and the Australian Open, missing a chance to add the US Open to that list due to an injury. Feliciano Lopez did not miss his chance to play another Major, his 78th consecutive since Roland Garros 2002 and the 79th in total, hoping to enter the ‘Club 80’ next year as only the second player behind the Swiss. Lopez has played at the US Open for two decades, never skipping the New York action and becoming the third player in the Open era with 20 appearances at the season’s last Major after Connors and Federer.

Feliciano Lopez is the third player with 20 appearances at two Majors.

Thus, Lopez became the third player in the Open era with at least 20 trips to two different Majors, joining Connors and Federer in that exclusive group that should stay with only three members for a couple of more years. Feliciano’s historical US Open campaign did not last for long, as he lost in the opening round to the fellow Spaniard Bernabe Zapata Miralles 5-7, 7-6, 4-6, 6-3, 6-3 in three hours and 15 minutes. Lopez blasted 27 aces and 14 double faults, securing two breaks and getting broken on three occasions to propel the rival over the top.

Returners barely claimed a couple of points in the opening 11 games of the first set before Lopez broke his opponent to steal it 7-5. There were no break chances in set number two, and Zapata Miralles claimed the breaker 8-6 to level the score and avoid a massive deficit. At the beginning of the third set, the veteran clinched a break and served well to take it 6-4 and move closer to the finish line. With no room for errors, Zapata Miralles grabbed a break in the fourth set’s fourth game and closed it with a hold at 15 at 5-3 to force a decider. Losing steam, Lopez got broken twice in the fifth set to propel the rival over the top and finish what could be his last US Open in the opening round.