Friday, March 8, 2019 - Feliciano Lopez plays Tomas Berdych in the 1st round of the BNP Paribas Open in Stadium 2 at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden in Indian Wells, California. (Michael Cummo/BNP Paribas Open)
In a tightly-contested battle of grizzled ATP Tour veterans, Feliciano Lopez took on Tomas Berdych in opening round action. With almost 40 years of combined tour experience and 14 previous matchups under their belt, the pair reacquainted during a picture-perfect day in Tennis Paradise. In a seesaw affair in which neither player could jump out in front, the Spaniard edged Berdych in consecutive tiebreaks for a 7-6(3), 7-6(2) victory.
While the always-game Berdych put up a strong fight, Lopez played mistake-free tennis in both tiebreaks to stamp his ticket into the second round of the 2019 BNP Paribas Open. Behind a remarkable 15 aces and saving (4/4) 100% of Berdych’s break point opportunities, Lopez proved infallible.
For Lopez, the former world No. 12 and 2016 French Open Doubles champion, the time to make a run is now. At 37 years old, his window of opportunity may be closing. That being said, you wouldn’t have been able to tell while watching Lopez’s on-court prowess today.
His run in the desert continues, as he meets No. 12 seed Karen Khachanov next in second round play.