Feliciano Lopez Biography And Detailed Game Analysis

Feliciano Lopez is a top tennis player from Spain. He reached a career high ranking of number 20 in the world in 2005 and is still ranked inside the Top30 in October 2011.

Lopez’s Game:
A Good Serve, Great Athleticism, And A Good Net Game!

Biography

Feliciano Lopez was born in 1981 in Toledo, Spain. He was a good but not exceptional junior player. His career high junior ranking was number 46 in the world in 1998.

On the professional tour, his career highlights so far have been 2 ATP singles titles and three quarterfinals appearances at Wimbledon in 2005, 2008, and 2011.

Game Analysis

Lopez has a big serve and can play the net very effectively. During baseline rallies he prefers to stay further back, slice a lot of backhands, and does not play all that aggressive!

1. Technical

Forehand

Feliciano hits a technically very sound forehand. Like so many other players on the men’s tour he likes to run around his backhand to hit his forehand.

He uses a short compact motion with a nice swing path, going from high to low to high again. He keeps his head still around contact and makes good use of the so-called lag effect by putting his forearm muscles into a pre-stretch position shortly before contact!

Lopez Hitting Forehands And Backhands In Practice


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I think that Lopez doesn’t go for his forehand enough though. He is too comfortable spinning it in, which is probably caused by the fact that he grew up in Spain playing that kind of clay-court tennis every day!

Backhand

Lopez actually hits a nice one-handed backhand. Most of the key body positions are in place and he can hit it really well. He has a solid hitting arm position, stays sideways throughout the shot. Sometimes I believe he stays down with his body too much and does not get enough height on the shot, but this is only occasionally. Overall he has good mechanics on the shot!

Unfortunately, he does not seem to have that much confidence in the one-hander though, which is probably due to the fact that he is so comfortable and so used to using his superb slice backhand all the time.

In order to take his game to the next level though, I believe he needs to hit more aggressive topspin backhands and less slice backhands!

Slice

Lopez hits one of the best slice backhands on the tour. In fact I believe that it is the best slice backhand in the men’s game!

His racket is only slightly open around contact and he really manages to move the racket forward through the shot, which results in slices that really go through the court and stay low!

Lopez Hitting Some Great Slice Backhands In This Point

Volleys

Feliciano Lopez is an excellent net player. He sometimes plays serve and volley and he also likes to come forward during rallies, especially with his slice approach shot.

He manages to stabilize the racket head very well and moves the racket forward against the ball in a rather straight fashion, which makes his volleys really firm!

Lopez Hitting Some Great Volleys In Practice!

Serve

Feliciano Lopez has one of the best
service motions in the game!

It is a very fluid motion and all of the important key body positions are in place! He turns away from the target at the beginning of the motion like all great servers and you can see that his entire body is moving upward and forward into the court!

The Lopez Serve:
A Great Service Motion!

Lopez Bombing An Ace With 137 mp/h

2. Tactical

On the tactical side Lopez has room for improvement. His biggest strengths are a great serve and his ability to play the net. Unfortunately, he does not always play to his strengths. He is too used to playing solid consistent Tennis from a rather defensive position behind the baseline. He most likely learned this game-style in his junior years on the red clay in Spain and it of course got him to where he is.

If he wants to make the next step though and get to the Top10 in the world, he needs to develop a more aggressive mindset!

I believe that if he starts to hit more topspin backhands and goes for bigger shots on his forehand on a regular basis, he could certainly enter the Top10. This kind of game-style would allow him to come to the net more often as well!

3. Physical

Like all the other Spanish players, Feliciano Lopez is extremely fit and moves well around the court. He is not only fit though, he is also incredibly gifted from a genetic standpoint. The kind of athleticism that he has can only be trained to a certain extent.

He has very muscular legs that make him explosive around the court. He moves well around the baseline and covers the net extremely well. Additionally, his explosiveness allows him to hit very big on whichever shot he wants to!

4. Mental

The mental side of the game is certainly not one of Lopez’s strengths. In fact I’ve heard Lopez say in interviews that he sees the mental side of the game as his biggest weakness!

It appears like he is often without a real plan out there on the tennis court and possibly has trouble focusing on things like finding the right tactics. Sometimes his shot selection seems to be a bit strange as well when he goes for big shots in low percentage situations and then he doesn’t go for something bigger when the opportunity is there.

I believe he has not been able to play up to his potential all that much in his career because of this lack of mental toughness!

Ranking

Ranking Lopez was fairly straightforward. I believe he is a phenomenal athlete with superb technique. He could certainly improve his mental game as well as his tactics!

1. Physical
2. Technical
3. Tactical
4. Mental

Coaching Recommendation

As mentioned previously, I think Feliciano Lopez needs to improve his tactics and his mental toughness. These two areas are of course very closely related.

Lopez is too comfortable just hanging around behind the baseline and playing consistent Tennis. I think in order to have a shot at moving closer to the Top10, Lopez needs to develop a more aggressive mindset when he is involved in baseline rallies with the other players!

He also needs to become a better competitor and get tougher mentally if he wants to advance further in the rankings!

So that was it for the Feliciano Lopez biography and game analysis!

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