Tennis said goodbye to one of the best players of this generation last week when David Ferrer played his last professional match at the Madrid Open.
Over the course of his career, “Ferru” was widely praised for his consistency, work ethic and tenacity: attributes that helped him thrive on court for nearly two decades.
Here’s a look at some of the highlights of the former world No. 3’s career.
The Major Breakthrough
In 2013, Ferrer had his biggest moment at the majors when he reached the final of the French Open for his only championship match at one of the Grand Slams. It took his countryman Rafael Nadal to halt his charge.
It wasn’t as if the City of Lights had not been kind to Ferrer in the past prior to that runner-up showing at Roland Garros. In 2012, he won the only Masters 1000 title of his career at the Paris indoor event, defeating Jerzy Janowicz in the final.
By the Bunches
That Paris Masters title was Ferrer’s seventh of the year. A model of consistency when it came to playing for titles, the Spaniard won 27 of 52 career finals. Another strong year in regard to racking up the wins came in 2015, when he hoisted the first-place hardware five times.
Teamwork Makes the Dream Work
Back when it appeared that Spain had established itself as a dynasty in the international team competition known as Davis Cup, Ferrer was a huge part of that run. Over the course of his career, he was a member of three title-winning squads.
First Time’s the Charm
After seven years as a pro, Ferrer finally made the field at the year-end championships in 2007, the Tennis Masters Cup, and promptly proceeded to advance to the title match against Roger Federer.
Three Out of Four Isn’t Bad
While he was never able to crack the Federer code, Ferrer did have his moments against the other members of the ATP’s “Big 4”—Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray—posting a handful of wins against each of them over the years.
Fortnights of Consistency
While Ferrer famously did not win a major, he was often in the second week of the tournaments: regardless of the surface. He advanced to the round of 16 or better at the Australian Open nine times (with two semifinals); accomplished that at the French eight times; at Wimbledon, five times (with two quarterfinal finishes); and at the US Open, five times (with two semis).
A Reign in Spain: Valencia to Be Precise
In a career full of highlights around the globe, winning at home was a significant achievement for the Spaniard as he took home the Valencia Open indoors title three times.
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