ATP Queen's: Feliciano Lopez stuns Stan Wawrinka to reach the second round in London

Feliciano Lopez, advanced to the finals at the Aegon Championships at the Queen's Club in 2014, losing to Grigor Dimitrov but he defeated second seed Stan Wawrinka, 7-6 (4), 7-5 in a high-quality match that lasted one and a half hours.

ATP Queen's: Feliciano Lopez stuns Stan Wawrinka to reach the second round in London
Lopez won the big points at the crucial times (Photo by Patrik Lundin / Getty)
Feliciano Lopez
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Stan Wawrinka

When the draw came out for the ATP 500 level event at the Aegon Championships at the Queen's Club. The world number three Stan Wawrinka would have been disappointed to have drawn Feliciano Lopez in the first round. The three-time Grand Slam champion had a niggling left knee injury. The second seed reached the final of the French Open last weekend losing to Lopez's compatriot Rafael Nadal.

Nevertheless, Lopez who has had grass court matches under his belt after reaching the final in Stuttgart losing to Lucas Pouille sensed it as a good opportunity to upset the three-time Slam winner, who was playing his first match on grass. The Centre Court crowd saw last year's finalist Milos Raonic lose in the first round, and they saw another shock when Lopez sent Wawrinka packing.

The Spaniard is currently ranked at 32 in the world, and a deep run at Queen's will ensure that he consolidates a seeding spot for Wimbledon. Lopez has reached the quarterfinals at SW19 on three occasions, and he will play Jeremy Chardy or Liam Broady for a place in the quarterfinals.

Lopez snatches a tight opener

The second seed got off to a flying start by holding his opening service game on Centre Court with a hold to love. Lopez had some issues on his serve but he restored parity to level the opening set at 1-1.

Wawrinka lost his first Grand Slam final to Nadal, and the Swiss number one carried one where he left off from Paris to London with ripping winners, and another service hold to love. Lopez was 15-30 down on his serve with Wawrinka threatening to break but the former world number 12 sent down three successive games to level proceedings at 2-2.

Both players remained untroubled on serve with a solitary point going into the server, and the match continued to ebb and flow comfortably at serve, keeping the opening set evenly poised at 4-4.

The three-time Grand Slam champion continued to serve well on grass despite it being his least favourite surface, and he sent down three aces, and a good serve down the middle, followed by a forehand winner to lead 5-4, heading towards the business end of the set.

Lopez also remained trouble on serve, and his serve is arguably as good as John Isner, Ivo Karlovic and Milos Raonic's serve on grass when he is on-song. For the first time in the match, Wawrinka was troubled on serve in the 11th game of the opening set.

The world number three trailed at 15-30 but he managed to win the next couple of points in succession, forcing Lopez to commit errors. Nevertheless, Wawrinka held on to his service game, forcing the Spaniard to serve to stay in the opening set once again.

Wawrinka played a good match but was troubled by a left knee problem (Photo by Clive Brunskill / Getty)
Wawrinka played a good match but was troubled by a left knee problem (Photo by Clive Brunskill / Getty)

The 2014 runner-up utilized the body serve to Wawrinka and the Spaniard held onto his serve easily, forcing the first set to be decided in a first-set tiebreak.

In the tiebreak, both players continued to remain untroubled on their service with Wawrinka continuing the theme of aces at the beginning of the tiebreak. Lopez won the next two points in succession sending an ace in his own right to lead 2-1 in the tiebreak.

Wawrinka went on to win the next couple of points to take a 3-2 lead but the 35-year-old didn't let that bother him as he sent down an ace and the second seed had the chance to get a mini-break with Lopez at the net but he committed a backhand unforced error.

The three-time Slam champion would rue that mistake as he committed a double fault, handing Lopez the mini-break and a 5-3 lead. The Spaniard failed to capitalise on Wawrinka's second serve but he had two points in his hand to claim the first set.

Lopez created his first set point chance with a good serve forcing the error from Wawrinka, and he converted it following the second seed's scintillating return, who played a lob and an excellent forehand winner placed in the corner to clinch the first set, 7-6 (4) in 39 minutes. 

Lopez completes the upset to book his place in round two

Both players held to love in their respective opening games in the second set. Moreover, Lopez went to deuce in his second service game but he sealed the game with an ace to lead 2-1.

The reigning US Open champion's forehand was firing on all cylinders to hold serve, and the former world number 12 held serve to love to lead 3-2.

Moreover, despite leading 40-15 on serve, Wawrinka committed unforced errors, and a good return from Lopez handed him a first break point in the second set. The second seed staved it off with a blistering forehand winner down the line, another one quickly followed but Wawrinka held onto his serve.

It was crunch time for the Spaniard as he had to fend off a couple of break points in the following game. He staved them off with good serving, and help from Wawrinka, who failed to convert the second one with his own wrongdoing. Lopez led 4-3 following two successive aces.

The Spaniard's serving was a key weapon today (Photo by Clive Brunskill / Getty)
The Spaniard's serving was a key weapon today (Photo by Clive Brunskill / Getty)

The match was seemingly looking to head for a tiebreak again as Wawrinka held onto his serve with little problems, and the Spaniard once again held to love to lead 5-4. However, Wawrinka was serving to stay in the match and he raced out to a healthy 40-0 lead but following a stunning forehand winner from Lopez, followed by an unforced error and double fault from the Swiss star got the game to deuce. Wawrinka would serve out an ace out each time the game went to deuce but he held serve crucially producing two back-to-back aces.

Lopez held onto his serve easily again with more good serving with aces, and it was a little too much for Wawrinka to serve to stay in the match once more. This year's French Open runner-up produced an ace to start the game but he lost the next two points. However, Wawrinka got the game to 30-30 with a neat volley winner. The second seed committed a volley unforced error at the net, and Lopez completed the upset by virtue of the dead net cord, trickling the ball over the net.