In a battle of two veterans of the game, Feliciano Lopez and Gilles Simon go against each other for the eighth time in a final not many saw coming. Simon is still searching for his first tour-level trophy this year, while Lopez challenges in a final for the first time since 2017. Here’s analyzing the championship match and predicting who’ll lift the trophy. It’s the ATP Queen’s Club Championships Final.
Head to head
The Spaniard, Lopez enjoys the upper hand in this regard leading 5-2 winning all past four meetings on grass without dropping a set. Both of Simon’s wins have come on hard courts probably in line with the game style of both these players with grass suiting Lopez much more than the baseliner Simon.
Journey So Far
Gilles Simon would in all totality end up with the nickname marathon man after having spent at least two hours on court in each of his matches so far. He beat James Ward 3-6 6-3 7-6 before upsetting the second seed Kevin Anderson 6-1 4-6 6-4. In the quarterfinals, arguably the match of the tournament, he scraped past fellow Frenchman Nicolas Mahut 7-6 5-7 7-6 in a marathon match lasting 3 hours and 20 minutes. His semifinal was another tough bout lasting 2 hours and 37 minutes. En route to his win over Medvedev 6-7 6-4 6-3 Simon broke serve four times while dropping his own serve twice.
The 2017 Champion Feliciano Lopez, who is also playing doubles with Andy Murray is enjoying another fine run here at the Fever Tree Championships. Lopez, a wildcard entrant this year, has dropped his serve only twice in the tournament, a stat which bodes well for the Spaniard coming into this final. He started his campaign by beating Fucsovics in three sets to be rewarded with a free pass into the quarters as Del Potro had to sadly withdraw due to an injury. Lopez then got by the big-serving Canadian Milos Raonic in another three-setter 4-6 6-4 7-6 to book a semi-final spot with another Canadian, Felix Auger-Aliassime. Lopez showed immense character saving all eight break points to beat an in-form Auger-Aliassime 6-7 6-3 6-4.
Match-Up: Feliciano Lopez vs Gilles Simon
Fatigue is bound to play a pivotal role in this match. Simon is at a disadvantage here having spent much more time than Feli Lopez although if you factor in the doubles matches that Lopez has played, it becomes less of a disparity. The upside of playing someone like Lopez is you know exactly how he’s going to play. Expect Lopez to serve and volley almost every time and his vicious low bouncing backhand slice is a potent weapon on the grass.
Simon has a fighting chance if he too plays aggressively rather than hanging back. Closing points at the net and forcing the issue should be the game plan for the Frenchman. It’s a tight one to call but with the bigger firepower on his serve and his grass court craft, Lopez should bag his second title here.
Prediction: Lopez in 3