David Ferrer Prepares For Grand Slam Farewell At US Open - UBITENNIS
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David Ferrer Prepares For Grand Slam Farewell At US Open

Monday could be the end of an era for the Spanish veteran in New York.



This year’s US Open will not only be David Ferrer’s 63rd appearance in the main draw of a grand slam, but it will also be the start of his goodbye to professional tennis.

On Monday evening the 36-year-old faces the daunting prospect of playing world No.1 Rafael Nadal at the Arthur Ashe stadium. A player who he trails 6-24 in their head-to-head. It could be argued that the draws gods have acted against Ferrer, but he has seen a silver lining in the upcoming meeting. Nadal is the only player he has faced in a grand slam final at the 2013 French Open. It seems only fitting that his final grand slam match could also be against him.

“Deep down I was happy [with the draw]. I was glad,” Ferrer said during an interview with El Espanol.
“It will be my last Grand Slam and for me it is an award to have the opportunity to play with Rafa Nadal in the central court of the United States Open.
“I am happy because tennis has given me this gift.”

Ferrer’s decision to retire from the sport has been an open secreat within recent months. In May he became a father for the first time and previously spoke about the struggles of balancing parenthood with life on the tour. Although Ferrer has stated that the birth of his son has had no influence on his decision to retire. On the tour this season, the Spaniard has struggled with physical problems and has only managed to win nine out of 26 matches played. Resulting in him spiralling down to 148th in the world.

“My life is going to change, but it does not scare me.” The former world No.3 said about retirement.
“I am excited and motivated to be able to train in other aspects. Tennis will always be with me because I will remain linked (to the sport). I do not know in what way. I assume it as a challenge, not as a fear of not knowing what to do.”

The farewell tour has already been planned with the goal of Ferrer playing his final match at next year’s Madrid Open. If he is fit enough to do so. It will bring an end to a career that has seen him play in 52 ATP finals, winning 27 titles. He has also finished seven seasons in the top 10 and peaked at a high of world No.3 in July 2013.

“(I will) say goodbye playing the Hopman Cup, Auckland, Buenos Aires, Acapulco, Barcelona and Madrid.” Ferrer outlined as a potential retirement tour.
“I also know that after the US Open I need to stop and rest to know if next year I want to continue or not.”

Judging on the current form of both players, it is unlikely that Ferrer will stun the men’s tour by knocking Nadal out in the first round. Although he is not bowing out of grand slam tennis without a fight.

“I want to win and I will play on Monday against Nadal with that intention. That is part of my DNA. I am on the threshold of withdrawal, but I will die being competitive.” Ferrer concluded.

Heading into the US Open, Ferrer has won 726 out of 1096 matches played on the ATP Tour.


World No.32 Davidovich Fokina Replaces Long-Time Coach With Verdasco



Fernando Verdasco was spotted earlier this week briefly watching Ons Jabeur play at the French Open but his focus this year is on another player.

The former top 10 player has landed a new coaching job after being hired by compatriot Alejandro Davidovich Fokina. Somebody who he once played a Tour-level doubles match alongside back in 2020. Fokina has opted to stop working with Jorge Aguirre, who has been his mentor since he was a child.

The change comes after what has been a mixed start to the season for Fokina who has only managed to win back-to-back matches in two out of 11 tournaments played before the start of Roland Garros. His sole win over a top 20 player occurred at the start of 2024 when he beat Hubert Hurkacz at the United Cup.  

“I will be very brief. I have left it with Jorge (Aguirre) and I start with Verdasco, with whom I have had a good relationship for years. He has not officially retired, but I knew that he was training other players and it was time,” Fokina told reporters after beating Valentin Vacherot in the first round of the French Open.
“It was time to close a stage and start a new one. With his experience, Verdasco can help me a lot to face the games, to assume that pressure and tension of the competition.”

Verdasco has won seven ATP titles during his career and reached the semi-finals of the 2009 Australian Open. At this year’s Madrid Open, he briefly helped Jabeur whose main coach Issam Jellali was unable to attend the tournament. 

Fokina will next play Casper Ruud in Roland Garros.

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Grand Slam Quarter-Finalist Van De Zandschulp Pondering Retirement After French Open Exit



image via https://x.com/Boticvdz/

Botic van de Zandschulp has revealed he is losing his passion for tennis and is considering retiring from the sport following his exit from the French Open on Monday.

The 29-year-old was knocked out of the tournament in straight sets by Fabio Fognini, who eased his way to a 6-1, 6-1, 7-5, victory. It is the second Grand Slam in a row where he has fallen at the first hurdle with the 2022 Wimbledon championships being the last major event where he won back-to-back matches.   

“I don’t look forward to competitions at all anymore,” Zandschulp told Dutch media.
“I have been asking myself more and more lately whether I want to continue.
“You have to do work that you enjoy. Everyone has a bad day every now and then. But if there are too many, then you have to ask yourself whether you want to continue.” 

Zandschulp has been the top-ranked player in his country with his most notable achievement being a run to the quarter-finals of the 2021 US Open. The former world No.22 is a two-time runner-up at the Munich Open but is yet to win an ATP Tour title. He has registered a total of six wins over top 10 players, including Casper Ruud and Andrey Rublev. 

However, recent difficulties on the Tour have left the Dutchman questioning if he wants to continue playing.  

“I like the training. Those are great days. But when I get up in the morning, I no longer look forward to the matches at all.” He commented.

Zandschulp’s remarks could be a reaction to his frustrating loss to Fognini. However, he confirmed that he has been considering retiring for a long time. 

“It was the worst match I have played in my life,” he said. 
“Of course, it is now fresh after the match. That plays a role in my mind, but the thoughts of quitting have been there for a long time. It is not an easy life as a tennis player. You really live your life, play thirty weeks a year and travel from pillar to post.
“If you don’t play, someone else will pass you by (in the rankings). That’s why I now play extra tournaments instead of charging myself at home.”

Zandschulp is currently ranked 102nd in the world and is scheduled to play in the French Open doubles event on Tuesday.

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Rafael Nadal Bows Out Of Possibly Final French Open To In-Form Zverev

A trio of multiple Grand Slam champions were among those who watched the blockbuster encounter in what might have been Nadal’s last-ever match at the tournament.



image via https://x.com/ATPTour_ES

In one of the most eagerly awaited first round matches in recent history at the French Open, 14-time champion Rafael Nadal has been beaten in straight sets by Alexander Zverev. 

Nadal, who was unseeded in the tournament for the first time in his career, put up a courageous fight before falling 6-3, 7-6(5), 6-3, to world No.4 Zverev. The encounter saw both players produce some of their best tennis but it was the in-form German who came out on top with the help of some thunderous serving, as well as his ability to turn defensive play into attack during rallies. 

“Thank you Rafa from all of the tennis world,” Zverev said in a tribute afterwards. “It is such a great honour. I have watched him all my childhood I have been lucky enough to play him, and twice on this beautiful court. Today is not my moment it is Rafa’s moment and I am not going to speak much.”

For weeks there has been speculation that this year could be Nadal’s last appearance in Paris before stepping away from the sport for good. Even though the Spaniard, who turns 38 next month, recently stated he is not ruling out a return. The uncertainty resulted in a sell-out stadium of almost 15,000 spectators with the majority of those attending choosing to do so in case it was his final appearance. Among those watching in the stands were major champions Novak Djokovic, Carlos Alcaraz and Iga Swiatek. 

Image via x.com/rolandgarros

Stepping onto his beloved Court Philippe Chatrier, the king of clay was greeted with an almighty eruption of cheers from the Parisian crowd which reverberated throughout the entire Roland Garros venue. He has won the clay court major more times than any other player in history and before this week only been beaten three times at the tournament out of 115 matches played. Losing twice to Novak Djokovic (2015 and 2021), as well as once to Robin Soderling in 2009. 

Despite the occasion, a focused Zverev refused to be intimidated as he had his own motivation to win. Two years ago in the semi-finals of the same tournament, he was involved in a tightly contested battle with Nadal before sustaining a serious ankle injury which forced him to retire and sidelined him from the Tour for months. 

With a lot at stake for both men, Nadal got off to a slow start by getting broken to love in the first game. Paving the way for recent Italian Open champion Zverev to dictate proceedings as he worked his way to a 5-3 lead. Three set point chances then came and went for him before he prevailed on his fourth after a forehand shot from his rival crashed into the net. 

It looked as if the tides were turning in the second set when a resilient Nadal saved a duo of break points before dismantling the Zverev serve for the first time in the following game for a 3-2 lead. Producing some of his best shot-making, the Spaniard had the chance to serve the second frame out but was unable to do so as his on-court nemeses elevated his level in a mighty fight back to draw level.  

Continuing to tame the animated crowd, Zverev went on to extend his stronghold by squeezing through a tense 11-minute tiebreaker which featured some gut-busting rallies.

The cat-and-mouse chase continued with Zverev yet again finding himself falling behind against a gutsy Nadal in the third set before slowly clawing his way back. He dealt his final blow midway through by hitting a blistering passing shot to break and move to the brink of victory which he finally secured after more than three hours of pulsating tennis. 

“It is incredible, I want to say thank you. It is difficult for me to talk,” said Nadal.
“I am not 100% sure if this is going to be the last time I am in front of you. The feelings I have today are hard to describe. To feel the love in the place I love the most. I have to congratulate Sascha for this great match. I know 2022 has been a super tough moment for you and so I wish you the best.”
“I have been going through a tough moment, so many injuries but I went through it to get back here. I had my chances but it was not enough against a great player.”

Zverev’s triumph underscores his title credentials as he chases after his maiden major trophy at the age of 27. He is now on a seven-match winning streak. 

As for Nadal, it is the first time in his entire career that he has suffered back-to-back losses on the clay. Regardless of whether he plays again or not, he can take comfort in knowing that his name has been permanently written in the record books. 

“There is a big chance I won’t be back but I can’t say 100%,” he admits. “My body is feeling better than two months ago. Maybe in two months I say it is enough but I don’t feel it yet.
“I hope to be back on this court for the Olympics. I have amazing feelings on this court, I never dreamed as a kid I would be here 38. All the memories have been different, so special. Support has been unforgettable. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.”

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