Lopez truly established himself among the world's leading players last year, and he should be one to watch in 2004.
World ranking: 28
Australian Open best:
3rd round (2003)
2003: 3rd round
The Spaniard, who broke into the top 100 in 2002, is seeded on only his second visit to Melbourne for the Australian Open.
Lopez impressed on clay in 2003, reaching two semi-finals, and he proved his all-court prowess with a quarter-final at the Canada Masters and a run to the fourth round at Wimbledon.
Indeed, unusually for a Spaniard, the big-serving Lopez is a danger on grass - and his two fourth-round appearances at the All England Club earned him a call-up to Spain's Davis Cup squad for the final against Australia.
But the 22-year-old admits that he is happiest on hardcourts and he could be a dark horse in Melbourne.