ATP

Lopez unsure if Spain's Nadal-led golden generation will be repeated

By Sports Desk September 25, 2023

Feliciano Lopez has doubts whether Spain's golden generation led by Rafael Nadal and Carlos Alcaraz will ever be replicated.

With Nadal's glittering career nearing its end, the torch for Spanish tennis has been passed on to Alcaraz, who at just 20 has already won Wimbledon and the US Open.

The pair have now combined for over half of Spain's grand slam titles, and while Lopez feels his nation will have more success in the future, the former world number 12 has concerns whether it will match the levels that Nadal produced. 

"I believe that we are not going to experience the generation of Spanish tennis players that we lived through again," Lopez told Stats Perform. "People have to be clear about that.

"But that does not mean that there will not be other great tennis players that will represent the country very well in the coming years.

"I don't know Spanish tennis in the minor categories, beyond some names that have been told to me, but I know that there are kids of 16 or 17 who play well.

"In the end, I think Spanish tennis has been in a place that is very difficult to get back to, but I'm sure that apart from Carlitos, there will be other young players who will bring us joy during the next four, five or six years."

Alcaraz has reached at least the semi-finals in the last four grand slam tournaments he has played, winning two of them, and Lopez has faith that he can carry the torch for Spanish tennis once Nadal calls it a day.

"Spanish tennis is in the hands of Carlitos and when Rafa announces his retirement, the entire country will want him to win," Lopez added. 

"He has already won two grand slams and has been number one. It is a blessing to have a player like Carlos at a time when Rafa has a year left to retire."

Nadal's decorated career has coincided with a great era of Spanish sport, with the nation's male and female football teams both winning World Cup titles while they have also enjoyed success in the likes of basketball and motorsport.

Lopez takes pride in his country's sporting achievements, explaining: "A country like Spain that is not a world power, and sport does not have the aid that neighbouring countries invest, in the last 20 years, has not stopped winning titles in all disciplines: Tennis, football, and basketball."

Related items

  • Murray knocked out of Geneva Open as Hanfmann books Djokovic clash Murray knocked out of Geneva Open as Hanfmann books Djokovic clash

    Andy Murray was denied a meeting with Novak Djokovic at the Geneva Open as Yannick Hanfmann completed a 7-5 6-2 win over the Scot on Tuesday.

    Murray's first-round clash with Hanfmann was suspended due to rain on Monday, with the three-time grand slam champion 7-5 4-1 down.

    He had earlier fumed at umpire Greg Allensworth as pollen rained down on the court in Switzerland, questioning why play had not been stopped.

    The rain may have frustrated Hanfmann's victory pursuit on Monday, but it only provided a temporary reprieve for Murray as the players returned to complete the match the next day.

    Hanfmann held his nerve through his final two service games to book a meeting with Djokovic for Wednesday.  

    In Tuesday's other early match, four-time grand slam quarter-finalist David Goffin was beaten in straight sets by Nicolas Moreno De Alboran.

    The likes of Denis Shapovalov and Tallon Griekspoor are also in action in Switzerland on Tuesday, with Taylor Fritz and Casper Ruud joining Djokovic in entering for the second round on Wednesday.

  • Murray fumes at umpire amid severe weather at Geneva Open Murray fumes at umpire amid severe weather at Geneva Open

    Andy Murray fumed at the umpire as inclement weather forced his Geneva Open tie with Yannick Hanfmann to be suspended.

    Murray's meeting with Hanfmann was postponed with the Scot a set and a double break down, with his German opponent in control at 7-5 4-1.

    Former world number one Murray was furious with umpire Greg Allensworth as the weather closed in.

    "I know you guys don't play but it'd be good to have a bit of a feel for what's happening," said Murray during a break in play.

    "You're fine for us to play when there's s*** flying around?

    "It's like it's snowing out here and you still want us to keep going."

    Allensworth eventually sent the players into the dressing rooms.

    Murray is aiming to use the Geneva Open to prepare for what is set to be his first French Open appearance since 2020.

    A tie with Novak Djokovic is on the cards if Murray can turn things around on Tuesday, though it looks incredibly unlikely.

  • Zverev sees off Jarry to claim second Italian Open crown Zverev sees off Jarry to claim second Italian Open crown

    Alexander Zverev claimed his second Italian Open title following a 6-4 7-5 victory over Nicolas Jarry in the final.

    The German, who also triumphed in Rome seven years ago, captured his first silverware of the season - and sixth of his career in an ATP Masters event.

    Having dropped just a single set on the way to his 11th Masters final, Zverev continued his impressive form by winning 95 per cent of his first-serve points (37 out of 39) and committing just eight unforced errors.

    Jarry had enjoyed an impressive fortnight in Rome, defeating Stefanos Tsitsipas and Tommy Paul on the way to becoming the first Masters finalist from Chile since Fernando Gonzalez (also at the Italian Open) in 2007.

    However, just two break points were enough to deny the 21st seed a fourth career ATP title, with Zverev eventually converting his fourth championship point to ensure a return to the winner's circle.

    Data debrief

    Zverev joins Rafael Nadal (10) and Novak Djokovic (six) as one of only three players since 2000 to win the Italian Open on multiple occasions.

    Landing his second crown in Rome seven years after his first, it marks the longest gap in seasons between two men's singles titles at the event in the Open Era.

    Meanwhile, Zverev became the most successful German male in ATP Masters events since the format's introduction in 1990, with his sixth such success seeing him eclipse Boris Becker's total of five.

© 2023 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.