Feliciano, out of a Grand Slam for the first time in 20 years

Since Roland Garros 2002, Feliciano López had been in all the Grand Slams to date without interruption. This streak of 79 consecutive participations, a historical record in tennis, has been cut short today on court 4 of Roland Garros. There, the Toledo has succumbed to the Italian Gian Marco Moroni 6-1 and 7-6 (4) in the first round of the phase prior to the big tournament on clay. Where the streak that is already in the sports history books began, is now where it ends, being the 2022 Australian Open the last one that Feliciano has played in a row.

It was not easy for the Spaniard, now number 111 in the ATP ranking at 40 years old. So far this year, ‘Feli’ he had lost all eight singles matches he had played, and the last meeting he played in this modality was a month ago in Barcelona. To access the final table of Roland Garros, he had to win three games, and in the first of them he was eliminated despite being the fourth seed. In the first set, his problems with the service weighed too much, and two breaks by Moroni right from the start put the sleeve on track. The second was much more even, and even the man from Toledo had three set balls to the rest, all of them saved by the Italian. Already in the tie-break, Moroni, number 166 in the world, was very effective with the serve and was able to seal his triumph.

In addition to losing this consecutive Grand Slam streak, Feliciano remains one of the record of participations in major tournaments that Federer has, with 81, although the Swiss did it non-consecutively (Roger missed Roland Garros 2016). Feliciano’s total is 80, since in addition to the 79 in a row, He was also at Roland Garros 2001. This record is still within reach of the man from Toledo, who could achieve it in a month at Wimbledon, on grass that he has always shown to dominate.

Verdasco advances to the next round; Bolsova and Lázaro, eliminated

Interestingly, the one who appears in second position on the list of most Grand Slam appearances consecutively is Fernando Verdasco, with 67. The man from Madrid is no longer fighting to increase this record, since at Roland Garros 2020 he cut his streak. Nevertheless, If he passes this preliminary phase in Paris, Verdasco would be the third player in history with the most Grand Slams played (He currently has 69, to one of Fabrice Santoro). And he is not going astray, since today He has beaten the Bosnian Damir Dzumhur 6-2, 5-7, 6-1 in their first round qualifying match.

The Spaniard, seeded fifth and number 109 in the world, was very serious from the start, taking the first set without complications. He, too, quickly took the lead in the second, although it cost him too much to certify the victory. Verdasco had up to seven match points that he failed to convert, and Dzumhur ended up surprising scoring two breaks. However, the man from Madrid knew how to calm the waters and finally claim victory in the third set. Thus, Verdasco is two wins away from entering the final draw at Roland Garros, and his next rival will be the Swiss Alexander Ritschard, number 204 in the ATP ranking, who has beaten the Frenchman Lokoli today in three sets. Fernando accompanies Benabé Zapata in the second round as the only Spanish tennis players still alive in the previous one.

In the women’s preview, three Spanish players came out on stage today. The first of them has been Aliona Bolsova, who was looking to access the final table of Roland Garros for the third time in his career. Nevertheless, has been clearly surpassed by Kathinka von Deichmann, of Liechtenstein, by a double 6-4. Bolsova suffered a lot on his serve throughout the match, giving up as many as six games on serve. Nor has Andrea Lázaro been able to advance to the next round, defeated by the Swedish Mirjam Bjorklund 6-3, 6-4 in just over an hour and a quarter.