David Ferrer has been a fixture in the top five for a few years now, yet he’s never reached a Grand Slam final and has only one Masters title to his credit. At age 31, it’s unlikely that he’ll add significantly to those numbers. What Ferrer does have going for him is a pitbull-ish willingness to do whatever it takes to win a match (short of actually serving-and-volleying). He’s admired for his bread-and-butter, unyielding baseline game, but also criticized for failing to find inspiration in big matches against top players. Ferrer has been solid—and no better—once again. He lost to Nadal in the quarters of Madrid and Rome; there’s no shame in that. But he blew a match point against Murray in the Miami final and was blown out 6-1, 6-4 by No. 16 Stan Wawrinka in the Oeiras final.
What to Like:
If Ferrer can keep this 31-year-old legs fresh and tensile for just one more two-week period, and hold serve with relative ease, he could wear opponents down. This guy has gone three sets with Nadal the last two times they played, so that’s encouraging.
What Not to Like:
The “little guy with the big heart” doesn’t have a weapon with which to overpower anyone, nor the youth to grind it out with a succession of quality opponents in five-set matches. Once again, the occasion is likely to overwhelm Ferrer.
What to Expect:
Years of lording it over lower-ranked players while taking the medicine dished out by his superiors has placed Ferrer firmly into a niche from which it’s unlikely he’ll escape. He’s be fighting his age as well as his history, and that’s a tough doubles team to beat.
2013 French Open Profiles: