Lopez may be ranked 29 in the world but he's opted to compete in a challenger event this week (credit: Alex Livesey/Getty Images)
Feliciano Lopez and Santiago Giraldo head the field for this week's Bogata Challenger in Columbia.
The Bogota Challenger is the last of a long series of South American clay-court challengers. After this week the action moves on to the hard courts of North America while the clay-court lovers will have to head to Belgium for the start of the European swing.
Lopez's appearance this week, courtesy of a wildcard, is a bit of a surprise. He may be ranked 29 in the world but the Spaniard has a habit of randomly popping up in big challenger events every so often. At the age of 30, you would have thought the left-hander would have had enough of slumming it on the lower levels of the tennis circuit but something keeps drawing him back. One would assume that the Bogata Challenger organisers have paid Lopez a sizeable appearance fee to compete this week and the Spaniard could also be seeking match practise after a series of early exits over the past month.
Giraldo's presence is more understandable. Columbia has no ATP events so whenever possible he drops down a level to compete in front of his home fans.
While Lopez occasionally plays challengers, he rarely does very well in them so expect third seed Alejandro Falla to make large inroads in the top half of the draw. Falla has a fine record on home soil, winning the Barranquilla Challenger earlier this year and he's currently ranked 58 in the world after a run to the third round of Wimbledon.