David Ferrer : The Iron Man...
|Posted by Jeevan ॐ Mirthu Gupt on October 25, 2014 at 7:30 AM|
ATPWorldTour.com pays tribute to David Ferrer,who has recorded his 600th match win....
David Ferrer is not your typical player at a time when cannonball servers and strapping goliaths are the norm on the ATP World Tour. Just like Michael Chang and Lleyton Hewitt, in recent years, the Spaniard, at 5’9” in height, has required guile and a hard-work ethic to succeed at the very highest level. Today, at the Valencia Open 500, Ferrer reached the 600 match wins milestone and his 16th quarter-final of yet another fine season.
"I’m most proud of all the years that I’ve been able to stay among the best players in the world," said Ferrer. "There have been important tournaments that I’ve won, and that I’ve been proud of, but what I’m most proud of is to have been able to maintain this stability for all these years.
“I’m proud that this 600th victory was at home. I want to thank all the people that have been with me along the way and especially to Javier Piles, who was not here today.”
Both are remarkable achievements for a player who might never have turned pro. Tommy Robredo, a childhood friend and rival, recalls, “As a junior, maybe mentally he was a little bit crazy. But when he moved to Valencia, he calmed down on the court and all of his game exploded.” Pablo Andujar admits, “He has changed, becoming calmer with experience. He used to break racquets.”
Failure to apply himself on the practice court as a teenager led to him questioning his future. Javier Piles, his long-time coach until 2013, locked his protégé in a two-by-two metre cupboard, with only bread and a bottle of water. Soon, Ferrer pleaded to be released. A week spent on a building site, pushing around bricks for 30 euros, resolved Ferrer to dedicating himself to tennis. Sixteen years on, it was a smart decision.
Ferrer pulls out all the stops on court with his compact, disciplined game. Ferocious and energetic, he attacks relentlessly from the baseline, while his forehand and return of serve have helped him to 21 ATP World Tour titles, 49 Top 10 match wins and to a career-high No. 3 in the Emirates ATP Rankings. “He always wins matches,” said Andy Murray. “He is an incredibly consistent player and works extremely hard. He puts in a lot of time and effort into his tennis. It is not easy to win a lot of matches these days. You have to work hard for wins, so it is a big achievement to have attained 600 match wins.”
His first ATP World Tour Masters 1000 title in November 2012 at the BNP Paribas Masters (d. Janowicz) and 2013 runner-up finish at Roland Garros (l. to Nadal) were warmly welcomed by the tennis world, that appreciates his tenacity as a player and humble nature off the court. “He is a very honest guy,” said Robredo. “You know what he will do and think. He is funny sometimes, the way he acts and reacts. He deserves his place at the top of the sport.” Andujar adds, “He is a warrior, a gladiator. He gives everything to every point, game and match. Importantly, he has always been a very, very nice guy.”
In a golden era of Spanish tennis, Ferrer is a class act. “He is a great example as a player and a person,” says Andujar. Robredo confirms, “He is a great sportsman, the way he acts on and off the court.”
By : James Buddell