Feliciano Lopez won his first-round match at Wimbledon, but that was almost secondary to just playing it.

This was Lopez's 66th Grand Slam event in a row, breaking the previous record of 65 that belonged to Roger Federer.

"When I was about breaking the record, I thought, wow, I'm going to beat Federer at something, which is a lot already," said Lopez. "Of course it means a lot to me.

"I'm really proud of my consistency. Is not about, you know, the number of Grand Slams played. It's about how many years have been playing, you know, at the top level. This is the most important thing.

"This is what I thought at this stage of my career was the most important thing, to stay healthy and to be able to compete against these monsters [the top players], because for me I played in the past against other monsters, but after the 30s it was so important for me to stay fresh and healthy...because the level overall is getting higher and higher in the last decade."

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Federer, whose streak was stopped when he withdrew from the 2016 French Open with a back injury, seemed untroubled, praising Lopez's staying power.

"I'm happy for him," said Federer. "It wasn't like my number one concern. But it's nice that more and more players are able to keep themselves in shape. Especially I think as Feliciano and me, we go way back to the Junior European Championships under-16 here in Hatfield, all the way to today, that we can talk about breaking each other's records, him breaking mine. It's a great thing.

"It's a testament for both of us to keep yourself in shape, loving the sport. I hope many more players can achieve such a thing."

Playing style and a concerted effort to stay fit and injury-free have helped, according to Lopez.

"I think the way I play maybe also," he said. " I think I don't play so many rallies. Also my technique. I play quite easy, so I don't make a huge effort in every single shot that I play. That's also important.

"I haven't, you know, suffered any big injuries in my career. This is the most important thing. And also mentally I have the strength enough to be, you know, playing so many years.

"[And] to realize that I need to do something different, no, after the 30s. So to change a little bit my diet, to do a lot of fitness. Just to be fit, you know, because after the 30s, you know, I knew that it's going to be so important for me to be very fit, because most of the opponents I play they are in between 10 or 15 years younger."

Lopez plays Juan Martin del Potro in the next round.


Feliciano Lopez breaks record for most Grand Slams played in a row

Feliciano Lopez breaks record for most Grand Slams played in a row

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