It might be considered bad luck to be the second placed Spaniard in the ATP tennis ratings, considering the amount of publicity and sponsorship that goes with being Rafa Nadal. Don’t waste your sympathy on David Ferrer, though – he’s doing very nicely, thank you. Let’s face it, on bare statistics alone, by the end of 2007 David Ferrer had won just under 5 million dollars and was rated at number 5 in the world, so life can’t be too bad, can it?
David Ferrer Ern was born in April of 1982 in Jávea, a town of 30,000 people just north of Alicante, with an accountant father and school teacher mother. David’s elder brother, Javier, was, at one time, Spanish Under 13 National champion and became a well-respected coach so David had plenty of help and encouragement during his early tennis career. He still managed to play a lot of football and basketball, though until, at the age of 15, he moved to Barcelona to attend the prestigious Catalan Tennis Federation training school.
After leaving school, David returned to live and train in Jávea and turned professional in 2000, finishing the year ranked 419 in the world. Since then, David’s career has progressed steadily and each year his ranking has improved – 71 in 2003, 49 in 2004, 14 in 2005 and then reaching the top ten for a few weeks in 2006 before fully breaking into it in 2007.
2007, in fact, marked a real breakthrough year in many ways for the always approachable Spaniard. Having only previously won two ATP ranking tournaments – in Bucharest in 2002 and Stuttgart in 2006 (ironically defeating José Acasuso in both of them), in 2007, David won three – Auckland, Bastad and Tokyo. He also qualified, for the first time, for the end of season Masters Cup in Shanghai, where he had a perfect record in the ‘round robin’ section of the tournament – defeating Novak Dokovic, Rafa Nadal and Richard Gasquet and then Andy Roddick in the semi-final. Unfortunately, David subsequently met a fully functioning Roger Federer in the final and was defeated in straight sets.
David Ferrer would certainly choose a clay court as his preferred surface but he has improved dramatically on hard courts during recent years. As you would expect from someone whose name, literally, means blacksmith in Catalan, his most valuable asset is his determination and refusal to accept defeat. Couple this with the apparent ability to run all day and chase down everything and it becomes clearer why Ferrer keeps climbing the ratings.
It’s understandable perhaps, given the charisma and playing record of Rafael Nadal, to sometimes forget that Spain has four other men in the world’s top twenty tennis players – considerably more than anyone else.
And of those four, David Ferrer is getting closer to the top every season.