Lopez Villa Helps Former No. 7 Player in the World Prep for Wimbledon
By ODU Athletics
MADRID, Spain – ODU men’s tennis rising senior, Carlos Lopez Villa, took advantage of an exceptional opportunity to practice and help out Fernando Verdasco, the former No. 7 player in the world, for the 2014 Wimbledon Championship in London, U.K.
“I have had the privilege to practice with Fernando Verdasco for a few days,” said Lopez Villa. “The opportunity came up because the coach I had before I came to the United States is Verdasco’s current coach, so he offered me the opportunity to train with him for a few days.”
Verdasco is a professional tennis player from the same hometown as Lopez Villa, Madrid, Spain. He has been a professional since 2001, and his career-high single’s ranking is No. 7 in the world, achieved in April 2009. He helped his native country Spain win three Davis Cup titles, capturing the deciding match in both 2008 and 2009, and was part of the winning team in 2011 as well.
In 2009, Verdasco reached the semifinals of the Australian Open, where he lost to his compatriot and eventual champion, Rafael Nadal, in five sets. In Verdasco’s professional career, he holds a 394-274 overall record.
Lopez Villa discussed the importance of this experience, “Having the opportunity to practice at that level with a tennis player who has been ranked top 10 in the world, does not happen very often. Training with him has been physically tough but very enjoyable at the same time. I have been practicing with him couple of hours a day.”
No. 65 Carlos Lopez Villa, who compiled an astonishing 20-1 record for the season, ended the year winning nine matches in a row and was a solid rock at the No. 1 slot all season for Aljosa Piric’s Monarchs. The 6’4 right handed junior from Madrid, Spain has compiled an incredible 38-2 record over the past two seasons in an Old Dominion University uniform.
In November, Carlos became just the second male in school history to capture the Regional Single’s crown after defeating VCU’s Alexis Huegas in the finals, earning himself a spot in the National Indoor Tournament in Flushing, N.Y. at the Billie Jean King Tennis Center. On March 29th, Lopez Villa snapped UNCW’s No. 69 Rafael Atia three-match winning streak in dominating two-set fashion 6-1, 6-0.
Lopez Villa was named the sole 2014 recipient of the ITA Arthur Ashe Jr. Leadership and Sportsmanship Award for the entire Atlantic region, as announced by Intercollegiate Tennis Association officials.
“This experience has helped me realize how challenging it is to work hard every single day in order to become a professional player,” Lopez Villa concluded. “Having the motivation and discipline to maintain performing on a high level is really difficult.”
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