David Ferrer: The Forgotten One
by Ben Pronin | November 9th, 2010, 10:44 am

I realize it’s been a while since I’ve written anything and it’s almost strange considering how much has happened in the past few months. But we’ve all read a million stories about Rafael Nadal’s triumph at the US Open and Roger Federer surpassing Pete Sampras’s title record, along with all of the Andy Murray hype and disappointment and hype again. But there is one player who’s been almost completely overlooked throughout most of this year despite the fact that he’s very likely to be in the World Tour Finals in just a few weeks. ADHEREL

That’s right, I’m talking about David Ferrer. The over-achieving Spaniard just won his second title of the year and ninth overall in Valencia. I’m sure some people will look at this and say “who cares, there was no one in Valencia that was important.” While the field wasn’t ripe with the top tier (although Ferrer did beat Robin Soderling in the semifinals), it was particularly important for Ferrer if he wants to improve his chances of qualifying for London, and he did just that.

Besides Valencia, Ferrer has had a good year all around. Particularly during the clay court season where he reach the semifinals in Monte Carlo, Barcelona, and Madrid as well as the finals of Rome. Unfortunately he was shockingly blitzed by a resurgent Jurgen Melzer in the third round of Roland Garros. But those results coupled with some occasional good showings at several hard court events have placed Ferrer at number seven in the world, re-entering the top 10 for the first time since late 2008.

As far as 2010 is concerned, Ferrer will probably be most remembered for his epic loss to compatriot Fernando Verdasco in the fourth round of the US Open. Ferrer didn’t so much blow his lead as Verdasco just stole the match at the last second, but it’s hard to find a positive spin on losing a two sets to love lead. Nonetheless, it was a brilliant match from both ends that Ferrer was just unlucky to lose (remember the amazing match point).

Ferrer has no points to defend in the upcoming Masters in Paris and, given his good form, could pick up substantial points to help him cement his qualification for London. Ferrer has only reach the year ending championships on one other occasion, back in 2007 when he lost to Federer in the finals. Most impressive is his record there is 4-1, going undefeated in round robin play despite having both Nadal and Novak Djokovic in his group.

Ferrer is easily on the older side of the tennis spectrum but he’s playing some of his best tennis after several rough patches in the last few years. And while he will be the heavy underdog in London, he shouldn’t be underestimated. Nadal is in question, Murray has lost to Ferrer twice this year, Djokovic has other things on his mind, all of these factors could really boost Ferrer’s chances of landing the biggest title of his career.

Ferrer is known for his never-say-die attitude much like his compatriot and world number one, Nadal, which is a big part of why Ferrer is so overlooked. But when looking outside of the players who win 2-3 slams every year on a consistent basis, Ferrer is quite a marvel. Indian Wells was Ivan Ljubicic’s just desserts for years of great play and hard work. Hopefully Ferrer will have his own just desserts in the upcoming months, whether it be as soon as Paris and London, or sometime in 2011.

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15 Comments for David Ferrer: The Forgotten One


You could tell by his reaction how much winning Valencia meant to Ferrer He climbed into the stands to hug his parents which you normally only see at slams.

This week could be a bit of a let down for him after such an emotional victory. I went out on a limb and have Melzer taking him out in R16 in my draw challenge.

Charlotte Says:

Very well deserved praise, Ferrer is an underrated player who has been successful on all surfaces, including a grass court title. He is also second on clay to Nadal this season. I don’t consider him an ‘overachiever’ in any way.

killerc Says:

He’s a great player, deserves the just praise! He seems like a normal guy with a lot of heart wearing a headband trying to beat ya to the ground in tennis!! Sure, he’s a defensive tennis style but great! Might not be Nadal but I enjoy watching him play when he is mentally in it. I feel his 2011 year will be about the same as 2010, I don’t think he will ever break past the semi’s of a grandslam but he still is a tennis character to watch.

margot Says:

He’s gr8! Just like a little fox terrier, he never let’s go! My goodness he seems incredibly fit with all that rushing around too!

andres Says:

It amuses me how he gets away with swearing quiet a lot during his matches without ever getting a warning. Still, he seems a nice guy.

mrmilbury Says:

Of all the soldiers of the Spanish Armada, for me Ferrer is the one with more attitude and width the strong temper.
Even if he has a bad score against Nadal, I think he is the only Spanish ready to upset Rafa, if he has the opportunity.
He don’t suffer the troickian sydnrome with the national number one, and is not a little thing, for a tennis player.

jane Says:

Yeah, Ferrer is a firey character; he gets so into matches and angry with himself when he misses. I was sort of sad to see him lose that match to Verdasco, but on the other hand, it was a great win from Hotsauce, and a couple of years back, Ferrer snatched a match from Nalby at the USO in similar 5-set-dramatics fashion. Thanks for this article Ben; Ferrer has been quietly staking his claim this year indeed. Good for him for getting back into the top ten! I believe he’s been ranked as high as #3 in the world before? Maybe in 2007 or 08? Anyhow, I would be pleased to see him win a big title like the bald bomber has done this year.

dimwitted recluse Says:

Ben, nice write up of one of the most appealing players on tour. Absolutely no side to him, is there. Apparently, he has quite a dim view of his own abilities. What do you think of your colleague Funch’s idea that Ferrer only gives the appearance of being mentally strong? I think what is meant is that though Ferrer chases everything and always seems to be coming back when he’s just been broken or something, nevertheless, when it’s crunch time, he tends to choke. I’m not sure about this. I HAVE seen him do that, but I don’t know that it is a prevailing feature of his game.

Did you hear the story about how his coach locked him up in a cupboard as a punishment for his frivolous attitude? And ever since, Ferrer has been noted for his work ethic. It went something like that. I keep thinking of him being detained in a cupboard under the stairs, like Harry Potter. Not sure why.

Kimberly Says:

Ben, nice article on a nice player.

Skeezerweezer Says:

Nice read Ben, thanks

Von Says:

It’s nice to see tribute being paid to some of the other players who are not in the top 4.

tenniscrackwhore Says:

great article on an underappreciated but overachieving player. he’s having some trouble with fognini right now, but we’ve seen him grind out matches like this many times.

and as i write this, tennis channel cuts away at 5-all in the 3rd. the lack of respect for ferrer continues.

faeaki Says:

Absolutely love Ferrur! the iron man as they call him in Espania! I really hope that he makes the O2, I would love to see him, he would be a nice addition to the tournament.
He always gives entertainment and should never be underestimated.
Nice tribute to a great tennis warrior, thankyou!

Mindy Says:


I think this is a wonderful way to pay tribute to one of the great competitors in this sport, a player who has been overshadowned by Rafa and Verdasco.

I love Ferrer’s fighting spirit, his gritty play and how he never quits. It’s nice to see him get some well-deserved attention.

Nice job!

Charlotte Says:

For years Ferrer was the Spanish #2 before he hit poor form and out of the top ten when Verdasco eclipsed him. In fact he holds more titles than his compatriot. He’s now back as the Spanish #2 behind Nadal.

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