Feliciano Lopez admits he and Andy Murray are heading into the unknown at Queen’s Club.
Spaniard Lopez is partnering Murray in the doubles at the Fever-Tree Championships in the former world number one’s first competitive match since January.
With Murray taking the first tentative steps to resuming his career after hip surgery, all eyes will be on the fledgling partnership.
It was unfortunate, then, that 24 hours earlier Lopez had to deny any link to alleged match-fixing at Wimbledon in 2017 after reports surfaced in the Spanish media.
There is no suggestion Lopez and his regular partner Marc Lopez knew of any bets placed on the match they lost, and they are not accused of any wrongdoing, but it was hardly the ideal preparation.
Nevertheless, Lopez said: “It’s a very exciting moment and I don’t want this thing to overshadow this doubles match.”
With Colombian top seeds Juan Sebastian Cabal and Robert Farah their opponents, Lopez concedes he does not know what to expect.
“It’s tough to say. I think Andy is a great doubles player. He hasn’t played much doubles, but when he played he did very well,” added the 37-year-old.
“Obviously I don’t know how is he going to feel. When we train together, he seems to be OK. His hip is pain-free.
“He’s feeling great, confident. But you never know. He hasn’t played for five or six months. He went through a surgery. It’s tough to say, you know.
“We don’t have any expectations, because we can have expectations to be realistic. I mean, it’s going to be his first match, and we haven’t played together. It’s the first match also that we are going to play together.
Sorry everyone. Play is done for the night. 😣
— Fever-Tree Championships (@QueensTennis) June 19, 2019
“But besides that, I think it’s a very exciting moment. I think we can play good. Grass is a good surface. It fits with our games. So we will see.”
Lopez had been set to face Juan Martin Del Potro in the second round but the Argentinian was forced to withdraw from Queen’s due to a knee injury, giving the former a walkover into the quarter-finals.
British number one Kyle Edmund, who has struggled for form and fitness all year, will resume at 6-3 3-3 down against top seed Stefanos Tsitsipas after they were forced off by rain.
Two first-round matches have been held back until Thursday, those between Nick Kyrgios and Roberto Carballes Baena, and Grigor Dimitrov and Felix Auger-Aliassime.