Tennis Birthdays – Sept. 20, 2014

The fetching one, and some other folks, celebrate today.

Feliciano Lopez (ESP), 33

The man is very pretty, no doubt about it, nicknamed “Deliciano” by none other than the irrepressible Judy Murray, British Fed Cup captain, Strictly-come-Dancer and mother of Andy.

Of course, there is a photo gallery: click here.

Over here at Open Court, we like to call him “Fetchin’ Feli”, and not in the “go fetch me stuff” kind of way.

He’s also, as it turns out, a really nice guy who has a sense of humour about the whole thing. Pretty good combination.

FeliVerdascoOh, the tennis. Deliciano is pretty good at that, too, and in quite a different way than the majority of his countrymen, who tend to be clay-court grinders.

A lefty with a big serve, Lopez is at his best on a fast hard court, where he can serve and volley and thoroughly compensate for a backhand that comes and goes in its effectiveness depending on his confidence level. There have been times in his career when Lopez hit over it quite competently; most other times, he’s content to slice it and that gives his opponents a big weakness to exploit.

Still, Lopez currently sits at No. 20 in the rankings, and has been as high as No. 15, two years ago after the Australian Open. He has four career titles in singles and has made over $9 million in his career, more than a million this year.

It always seemed that his biggest problem was lack of confidence – at least outwardly. It’s not a uniquely Spanish trait, but certainly some of them suffer from it – that huge look of relief and disbelief when they win matches they should win, those hiccups at the key moments in matches, a “failure to execute in a timely fashion”, as we like to put it. He certainly doesn’t seem to have been missing much else, other than the weakness on the backhand side, to have done better than he has.

That’s relative, of course; he’s done very well.

Lopez was the hero of the winning 2008 Davis Cup campaign (remember when Spain was in the World Group??) by defeating Juan Martin del Potro in Buenos Aires and winning the doubles with Fernando Verdasco, with whom he formed just about the prettiest doubles team on the planet for a time.

At 33, he probably won’t be around that much longer. And while it won’t be a monumental loss the way the eventual retirements of players like Federer and Nadal will be – not even close – he will be a loss nonetheless.

But he’ll always have mixed doubles at Wimbledon with Andrea Petkovic to remember.


Back when she was doing her Petkorazzi thing, she got him to guest-star, which was epic.


Olga Savchuk (UKR), 27

Olga Savchuk

Savchuk is one of those names that pops up everywhere, mostly in doubles. For whatever reason, we thought she was much older than 27 at this point; she’s been around forever.

In singles, she’s ranked No. 217 and in doubles, No. 62. The doubles is close to a career best; in singles, she’s been as high as No. 79 (May, 2008). She has two career WTA Tour doubles titles, including Katowice this year with countrywoman Yulia Beygelzimer.

Savchuk was in Quebec City last week, qualifying for the main draw in singles, beating Canadian Gaby Dabrowski in the first round before losing to Venus Williams.

Andrej Martin (SVK), 25


As high as No. 119 a couple of years ago, Martin is ranked No. 169 and pretty much a Challenger-circuit guy.

He qualified at Umag, Croatia this year and lost to Carlos Berlocq in the first round; that was his only ATP appearance of the season so far.

Martin has one Grand Slam appearance; always going through the qualies, he finally made it at the U.S. Open last year, losing to Mikhail Kukushkin in the first round.

His other best chance was at the Australian Open in 2011, when he met a young Milos Raonic in the final round. That’s where we remember Martin from. Raonic wasn’t the calm customer he is today, and he was pretty much losing it on the court – down a set and a break before he finally got his act together and won (going all the way to the fourth round in a breakthrough effort before losing to David Ferrer).

Here’s some long-lost video of that match.


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3 thoughts on “Tennis Birthdays – Sept. 20, 2014

  1. LOL. You made my birthday special Steph! Didn’t know that the ‘Fetchin One’ shared the same Birthday with me. A fellow lefty at that!

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