Spanish veteran Feliciano Lopez claimed the biggest title of his long career when he battled back to beat Marin Cilic 4-6 7-6(2) 7-6(8) in a nerve-wracking final of the Aegon Championships at Queen’s Club on Sunday.
The 35-year-old, who suffered a heartbreaking defeat in the 2014 final when he held a match point against Grigor Dimitrov, this time saved a match point in a tense final set tiebreak before toppling the Croat.
Lopez saved his match point with a steely volley at 5-6 in the breaker before Cilic fended off two. Then, at the third time of asking, crowd favourite Lopez could celebrate after fourth seed Cilic pulled a forehand into the tramlines.
It was Lopez’s sixth career title and third on grass.
Relive all the action with Standard Sport’s blog!
Thank you for following our live blog today as Feliciano Lopez won his first Queen’s Club title on his 12th attempt in an high-quality battle with Marin Cilic! That’s us done for today — have a great afternoon!
Lopez is now taking pictures with the enormous trophy before he’ll be ushered off as the doubles semi-final gets back underway.
Just to confirm then that Lopez has won the Aegon Championship final against Cilic 4-6, 7-6 (7-2), 7-6 (10-8).
That winning moment
He also has a laugh, saying «it’s tough to believe I’m playing my best tennis at 35 years of age!»
He’s now being asked about the matchpoint against Dimitrove a few years back that he lost. Lopez admits it was hard to forget about it today. «This place is amazing, you’ve been supporting me. It’s a pleasure to play on this court.»
Lopez: «I cannot believe I finally won this trophy. To be here 16 years and [now] to be holding this trophy. I thought by the end of the tiebreak I wouldn’t be able to make it but I want to congratulate Marin.»
Lopez is currently lifting the trophy — and what a trophy it is — and will also be awarded prize money of £347,000.
The day is by no means over for Cilic, who now has to finish off the doubles semi-final which had been halted due to rain. If he wins it, he’ll then have the final to contest later…
Cilic: «It was just an amazing final and definitely high quality. Feliciano played well today but always does on grass.»
His parents, who flew in just for the final today, are brought to near tears as Lopez runs over to his team to give them all a hug. What a performance from the 35-year-old under intense pressure! He just held on in there throughout against Cilic, who served so well today.
And he has done it! Lopez wins the Aegon Championship after Cilic makes an unforced error, sending the ball out, and leaving Lopez in disbelief!
Lopez serves to take another point…
Cilic maintains his cool to make it 8-8!
Lopez is in front! And that’s because of Cilic sending the ball into the sky!
Lopez then takes the next but Cilic uses his serve to hold on. 7-7.
We are being treated to some fantastic tennis here — rather like a crescendo in a song! Lopez pulls off a stunning fightback to claim the next point and square things at 6-6.
The sun comes out as Cilic serves up another superb shot to make it 6-5. Who will break first?!
What a shot! Cilic dinks the ball over Lopez following a drop shot to take the point! 5-5…
Load moreWHAT THEY’RE SAYING
Marin Cilic: «It is just amazing to get to the final. Also considering that today’s match was extremely high level.
(Adrian DennisAFP/Getty Images)
«I was playing really, really good throughout all the match. Gilles was just pushing me to the limits.»
Feliciano Lopez: «I am so happy to be in the final here at one of the most special tournaments for me.
«I have wanted to win this tournament so badly for my whole career and tomorrow I have another chance, so I feel very pleased.»