TARRAGONA, March 4, 2016
Marc López is currently experiencing a very unusual week in his professional career. The world number 29 in the ATP doubles rankings and Spain’s best tennis player in this competition, normally teaming up with Feliciano López on the ATP World Tour, who captured the title together at the Qatar Exxon Mobil Open in Doha this year, is playing at the $10,000 ITF Future event in Tarragona this week. He is building a team with only 18-year-old Jaume Munar. In a few days, López will travel to Indian Wells and Miami in order to compete with the best pair’s in the world but is competing in the Circuit’s third category these days.
“The explanation is very easy,” López told in a chat with Punto de Break. “We lost the final in Dubai, missing match points and I decided to play in Tarragona. I usually practice with Jaume, who is actually competing in the singles competition, and so I asked him to do it to together here in Tarragona,” the 33-year-old Catalan said. Both players are sharing with Carlos Gómez the same coach.
“I get along very well with the people of Tarragona. It is a pleasure to play this Future so close to my home town,” the Barcelona resident explained. “We made it to the final and want to win the tournament. I am very motivated to claim the title here. Winning is always important whether at Futures or elsewhere. Hopefully, we will be able to do so.”
Due to their daily practice session at the Real Club de Tenis in Barcelona, López knows his only 18-year-old partner very well. He calls him “Jumbo” and thinks that Munar can have a successful future. “I personally like his style of playing. He has great potential. He was one of the best juniors in the world but now has to confirm his level. It is important to play tournaments like this here in Tarragona to gain experience and win some matches on senior’s level.”
López considers the world number 447 to be able to play at the most prestigious tournaments in the future but believes that he should not skip stages. “He has the level to play ATP Challengers but hasn’t won a Future tournament yet. I think it is important to go step by step. You have to learn, how to play these kind of tournaments, even if there are players with a worse level. But there also very competitive opponents. With Carlos, he has a great coach, who will help him a lot.”
López will return to the bigger tournaments by the end of the week, when he starts his journey to the United States. Before, however, Munar and López still have to play the final in Tarragona. The pair has only dropped one game en route to the final, facing third seeds Goncalo Oliveira from Portugal and Akira Santillan from Japan.