Fresh off his second Queen’s Club singles title, Lopez has once again found stellar form on grass leading into Wimbledon. He will face off against last week’s Halle semifinalist Herbert in the opening round of the Eastbourne International. This matchup is a delight for serve and volley enthusiasts and tennis purists everywhere.
Statistically, grass is by far the Spaniard’s best surface, which is not something you see often. But with his devastating lefty serve, skidding backhand slice, and picture-perfect net game, it is easy to see why four of Lopez’s seven career titles have come on the slick surface.
In a vacuum, Lopez would likely be the favorite heading into this clash. However, after pulling double championship duty in London Sunday, where the 37-year-old teamed up to win the doubles title with Andy Murray following his three-set win over Gilles Simon in the singles championship, his tank has to be nearing empty.
Herbert will look to charge the net targeting the Lopez backhand, a shot he is almost exclusively slicing at this point in his career. It is far easier to volley a slice than a shot with heavy topspin. If Lopez is unable to serve his way out of trouble, the youthful and much fresher legs of the Frenchman will likely prove too much for the red-hot Lopez, who has to be somewhat fatigued from his hours expended on court the past week.