Our What's Next? series looks at every player who finished in the ATP or WTA Top 10 this season, and considers their future in three different ways.
This diminutive (5’9”) first cousin to the Energizer Bunny had a career year at a time when many veterans struggle just to hang in there as viable touring pros. Ferrer turned 30 in 2012, yet won an astonishing, tour-best seven titles. And while he still hasn’t made a Grand Slam final, he did finally lock down a Masters title, beating white-hot Jerzy Janowicz to take the Paris Indoors.
Ferrer also cemented his reputation as the ultimate tennis professional, the guy you would single out when asked to describe a hard-working, ever hopeful but realistic player whose greatest assets—in addition to those piston-like legs—are a seemingly infinite capacity for work, and a pure love of the game.
Unfortunately, that fidelity to the sport can’t compensate for a fairly short reach, even if it is coupled with one of the best service returns in the game. It also doesn’t help Ferrer generate power or acute angles on is serve. But the Spaniard’s biggest detriment is confidence, specifically, that which he still seems to lack against the Big Four.
Best Case Scenario: Unlike the far less consistent Tomas Berdych and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, Ferrer has never made a Grand Slam final. That alone ought to keep him hungry and motivated—not that Ferrer has ever had problems in those areas. It may take a miracle for Ferrer to win a Grand Slam, but such happenings always begin with a quality Ferrer has in abundance: Determination.
Worst Case Scenario: Given his age, Ferrer might very well stagger into next season mentally and emotionally spent. This is a guy who’s so accustomed to losing to the very best players that coming up little flat and taking a few bad losses could really knock him for a loop.
Australian Open Outlook: Apart from a second-round loss to Marcos Baghdatis in 2010, Ferrer has been solid lately in Melbourne. Given the importance of fitness at that event, it may be his best chance to win a major in 2013.
More What's Next?
- ATP No. 10, Richard Gasquet
- WTA No. 10, Caroline Wozniacki
- ATP No. 9, Janko Tipsarevic
- WTA No. 9, Sam Stosur
- ATP No. 8, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga
- WTA No. 8, Petra Kvitova
- ATP No. 7, Juan Martin del Potro
- WTA No. 7, Li Na
- ATP No. 6, Tomas Berdych
- WTA No. 6, Sara Errani
- ATP No. 5, David Ferrer