Lopez Reaches 400 Wins Milestone In Dubai
Spaniard edges countryman for milestone win
The sixth-seeded Spaniard struck 16 aces as he claimed victory in just under two hours in the pair’s first meeting in almost five years. Lopez improved to a 4-3 lead in their FedEx ATP Head2Head series.
"I'm very happy, first of all, because I think it's a good number, 400 wins," said Lopez. "It's been long time since I started playing tennis, and I'm very happy that I have been able to achieve this number. It means that I was also very lucky in terms of not having injuries during my career. I have been able to play for almost 15 years, so it was easier to get to this number.
"The match today, I think Guillermo is a tough player for me to face. He's a very solid player. He has very good groundstrokes. He hits the ball really hard.
"But I was very aggressive. I think I was doing the right things, especially in the beginning of the match. The first set was very quick. Then in the second set he was playing better and better. I was not serving at my best by the end of the set. I got a break. Then immediately I made the break again. I feel happy. Hopefully I can do better in the next round."
The 34-year-old Lopez is the oldest player in the draw and is a two-time runner-up. The left-hander reached the final at this ATP World Tour 500 hard-court tournament in 2004 (l. to Federer) and 2008 (l. to Roddick).
One of the Next Generation stars, Hyeon Chung, reached the second round with a 6-3, 6-4 win over Andreas Seppi. The 19-year-old Korean notched his third win of the season as he converted two of his five break points and won 75 per cent of his service points.
Tunisian wild card Malek Jaziri cruised past two-time runner-up Mikhail Youzhny 6-4, 6-1 in 90 minutes. Jaziri could face World No. 1 Novak Djokovic next, should the Serb overcome Tommy Robredo in his opener later.