Lopez aiming to end Murray drought

Feliciano Lopez hopes a new look might bring a change of fortune against Andy Murray at the Australian Open.

Feliciano Lopez

The Spaniard is renowned for his flowing locks but shaved his head for the start of the 2014 season.

Judy Murray, who famously dubbed Lopez 'Deliciano', wrote on Twitter: "Tragic start to the year. Deliciano has had a skinhead."

"Judy's so funny," said a blushing Lopez following the straight-sets victory over Germany's Michael Berrer that put him into a third-round contest against Murray.

"I was talking with my physio and we thought why don't we do something different, so we cut my hair. I may let the hair grow, we'll see. If I keep winning, I will keep it like this."

Lopez needs something to give him confidence given he has lost all seven of his previous matches against Murray, the last three of which have also come at grand slams.

The Scot won easily at Wimbledon and at the US Open in 2011 but spent almost four hours battling past Lopez in the third round at Flushing Meadows a year later.

That match is another source of hope to Lopez, who said: "In the past I've lost all of the matches so I'll have to do something different.

"I have to go for it. He's number four in the world and I have nothing to lose. When you play players like him, like Rafa (Nadal), like Nole (Novak Djokovic), you have to be aggressive. If you wait and you don't take risks, I don't think this is the way.

"He beat me in three sets at Wimbledon, I think he was playing great. I was also playing great but he just killed me, he played so good.

"The last one at the US Open was great. It was a long match, a hot day. This was my best match against Andy, definitely. I was really close. I think I choked a little bit in the tie-break in the fourth but I think I played a great match."

Lopez would love for this meeting to be in searing heat as well, but temperatures are forecast to plummet overnight with a high of only 22C on Saturday.

That should be good news for Murray, who is still feeling his way into the tournament after back surgery.

The fourth seed was very impressive against Go Soeda in round one but struggled a little to see off qualifier Vincent Millot on Thursday.

Lopez said: "He hasn't played a lot because of the injury but I think two matches, although it's not a lot, is enough for him to get better than he was. Best of five sets is always different so we'll see."



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