Friday, June 8, 2012
Roland Garros Day 13: Ferrer
Player: David Ferrer
Current Ranking: 6
Notable Conquest: Andy Murray (UK, 4th seed)
Today's Result: loss to Rafael Nadal (Spain, 2nd)
Photo via Bettor.com
When Milos Raonic (Canada) had his breakout tournament at the 2011 Australian Open, the US television commentators were beside themselves with excitement for a North American - any North American - making a deep run. Upon his reaching the fourth round, they made a big deal out of the fact that this upstart, 6-5 Canadian would be taking on a 5-9 Spaniard, shockingly dismissive of the accomplished opponent. This hubbub was all quite comical for anyone who followed tennis with any regularity. We all knew exactly what was in store: the 5-9 Spaniard was going to kick the snot out of Raonic. Sure enough, the big man was vanquished in four sets. (Side note: this story is meant to take nothing from Raonic who was proven himself to be a capable player since.)
David Ferrer, the 5-9 Spaniard in question, has maintained a top ten ranking for much of his career by simply taking care of business. Generally acknowledged as the fittest player on tour, he wins the matches he's supposed to win. Alas, he's never had much luck against Nadal. With today's loss, Ferrer's career record against Rafa stands at 4-16. What's more, he has only ever beaten him once on clay - eight years ago. Nadal has beaten Ferrer on the red dirt 13 times on the red dirt since, including today.
Still a force to be reckoned with at age 30, Ferrer may manage to stay in the sport longer than most thanks to his extraordinary work ethic. When the time comes to hang it up, he may not be remembered as a world beater but everyone in the game will remember him as a class act. This was his first time in the Roland Garros semis, yet another accomplishment for the horribly under-appreciated resume.