Former world No. 12 Lopez is four years younger than Nadal.
Feliciano Lopez, 41, says he never felt “overshadowed” by Rafael Nadal. When Nadal – who is four years younger than Lopez – came on the scene in the early 2000s, he took the tennis world by the storm. Although there were several other great Spanish players from that generation, Nadal was the one who was always receiving the most attention.
Lopez, a former seven-time ATP champion and world No 12, says Nadal has always been an inspiration and something that positively impacted his career. In an interview with CLAY, Lopez was asked if Nadal’s success overshadowed him or other Spanish players from their generation.”It depends.
I consider him an inspiration for me and for many others. When I started, he didn’t exist. I was lucky to always have one or two Spanish tennis players who were triumphing as an example to follow. Then, since Rafa appeared, I have been lucky to know him personally, to live and train with him, to share his triumphs.
For me it has been a good fortune to have him so close, to share generation with him,” Lopez told CLAY.
Lopez: I have never felt overshadowed by Nadal
Lopez, who retired from pro tennis a month ago in Mallorca, acknowledges there is a reason why Nadal has been drawing so much attention throughout his career.
Together, Lopez and Nadal won four Davis Cup titles for Spain.”The truth is that I have never felt overshadowed by his figure. I think everyone in life gets what he deserves. Rafa is true that generates a brutal attention, it is normal because of how good he is, what he has done since very early.
It is normal that such a great figure gets all the attention from the media, from people. Having shared so much with him has helped me to be a better player and a better person. Having him around you can only learn. Whether it can affect you more or less in the media, I don’t think it’s important,” Lopez said.