David Ferrer Credits The ‘Big Four’ Of Tennis For Helping Him Elevate His Game - UBITENNIS
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David Ferrer Credits The ‘Big Four’ Of Tennis For Helping Him Elevate His Game

The Spanish veteran speaks out about what it has been like for him playing alongside Roger Federer and co.

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As David Ferrer approaches the end of his tennis career, the Spaniard believes part of his success in the sport has been helped by rivals such as Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal.

 

The 36-year-old is set to officially retire in May at the Madrid Open. Ending a career that has spanned almost 20 years. Ferrer has been ranked as high as third in the world and has won 27 titles on the ATP Tour. He is one of only four active players to have won over 700 matches on the tour. On the clay, he has recorded 331 victories. The second highest amount on the tour after 11-time French Open champion Nadal.

It could be argued that Ferrer’s achievement has been overshadowed during the era of the Big Four. A group of players that have dominated men’s tennis in recent years. The group features Federer, Nadal, Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray. The closest he came to a grand slam title was runner-up at the French Open.

“If it had not been the Big Four I would not have been number 3 in the world, because I would not have improved.” Ferrer said during an interview with La Nacion.
“I saw Roger and Rafa, then Novak and Murray came, and I always tried that the things that they did well, I could fit them, in my style, of course. And that helped me. Especially with Rafa and Toni Nadal, talking a lot with them.”

2013 was the year where the Spaniard peaked at his ranking high. During that season he claimed two trophies and finished in the year-end top three for the first and only time in his career. Although 2013 wasn’t completely perfect for Ferrer.

“I went to the Masters (ATP Finals) in London and I did not win any matches because I ended up tired. I came from playing the final of Paris-Bercy, I got home in Valencia, I saw the ranking, I saw myself as No. 3, but that day I was very sad because I could not play well in London.” He explained.
“That’s why I say that if I could change something in my career it would be to enjoy every moment. Being a nonconformist at a certain stage of my career has left me wounded.”

Ferrer has a win-loss record of 17-72 against the big four. The only member he has never beaten is Federer, who has won all 17 of their meetings on the tour. The Swiss player is currently the second oldest player in the top 100 after Ivo Karlovic.

“He has something different from the others.” Ferrer said of Federer. “Anticipates the play, has a better eye than the opponent. And he physically moves perfectly, has worked hard, but has a natural talent and was born to play tennis.”

Ferrer Vs Big Four
Federer – 0 wins, 17 loses
Djokovic – 5 wins, 16 losses
Murray – 6 wins, 14 losses
Nadal – 6 wins, 25 loses

The era of the Big Four is approaching its climax. Murray has also admitted that he may soon be forced to retire from the sport due to an hip injury. Meanwhile, the other three are in their 30s. Speaking about when the quartet will leave the sport, Ferrer admits that there will be a big hole left on the tour.

“It will be different because they have given glory to the sport, they have improved it in many aspects and they have given a very good example to society.” He said.

Ferrer will continue his farewell tour next week at the Argentina Open in Buenos Aires. A tournament he won three times in a row between 2012-2014.

Five facts about Ferrer’s career

1. He has finished seven seasons ranked inside the top 10 (2007, 2010-2015)
2. Spent more than 13 years continuously ranked in the top 50 (7/2/05 – 22/7/18)
3. Has played in 52 ATP finals, winning 27 of those.
4. Achieved 20 or more victories in 15 straight seasons (2003-2017)
5. Played in 50 consecutive grand slam main draws before missing the 2015 Wimbledon Championships due to injury. Overall, he has played in the main draw of 63 grand slams.

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Diego Schwartzman Receives Threats On Social Media Following Shock Davis Cup Defeat

The world No.15 is the latest player to speak out about recieving abusive messages on social media.

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The weekend has been an emotional rollercoaster for Diego Schwartzman, who suffered ‘one of the worst’ losses of his career before helping secure victory for his country in their Davis Cup tie against Belarus.

 

On Saturday the world No.15 was stunned by unranked 18-year-old Daniil Ostapenkov who is yet to play a professional match on the pro Tour. Ostapenkov is currently ranked 63 in the world on the junior circuit. The comprehensive victory shocked the Argentinian team who was hosting the tie at the Buenos Aires Lawn Tennis Club.

Despite the shock upset, Schwartman managed to redeem himself the following day when he defeated Alexander Zgirovsky 6-1, 6-2. That victory handed his country an unassailable 3-1 lead in their tie and secured their place in the 2022 Davis Cup qualifiers which will take place next March.

Not only playing Davis, but in Buenos Aires, with a lot of people you don’t see, it’s not easy. My level can be and has to be much better. After the game on Saturday I had a difficult day in the spirit of being able to get up and enjoy with the group,” La Nacion quoted Schwartzman as saying.
“The most normal thing was that we won the series. It’s what everyone expected. But when you have a very difficult day at work like it was on Saturday and then you win, it excites you because you have some internal things withheld.”

Between those two matches, Schwartzman revealed that he was trolled on social media by some people unhappy about his loss in the tie. The 2020 French Open semi-finalist said he received criticism and even threats from some asking him to leave his home country. Something he admits affected him at times.

“It was one of the worst days of my career,” Schwartzman commented on his loss to Zgirovsky. “I lost to an unranked, inexperienced player. All that already affects (me) a lot. Although 80 or 90 percent of the people are always encouraging (me), there was a minority who criticized me with bad intentions.’
“I received threats, insults and requests not to return to Argentina. More or less, it affects (me)”.

Schwartzman is not the first player to speak out about online abuse. During the US Open Shelby Rogers said she was expecting to receive ‘death threats’ following her loss to Emma Raducanu who went on to win the title. Sloane Stephens has also previously spoken out about being the victim of racism online.

The 29-year-old says he has previously tried to interact with those who have trolled him on social media to find out why they are doing so.

Sometimes I start to answer some messages and I ask those people if they realize what they are sending,” Schwartzman said during his press conference. “The vast majority apologize and say they had not realized it. But at the moment it hurts. That very ill-intentioned criticism is the only bad thing about social networks.”

Schwartzman has won four ATP titles and earned more than $10M in prize money so far in his career.

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Spanish Veteran Feliciano Lopez Addresses Future On The Tour

23 years after he played his first main draw match on the ATP Tour, Lopez says his longevity in the sport has been achieved with the help of of some luck.

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Feliciano Lopez of Spain is pictured during the semi-final of ATP Fever-Tree Championships tennis tournament at Queen's Club in west London on June 20, 2019.

Feliciano Lopez has dismissed any speculation that he could retire in the coming weeks after saying he is taking life on the Tour in his stride.

 

The 39-year-old Spaniard is currently the second oldest player in the world’s top 200 after Roger Federer, who is a year older than him. Lopez made his ATP Tour debut at the 1998 Barcelona Open which was before the birth of Jannik Sinner and Carlos Alcaraz. In June he became the 10th active player to record his 500th win on the Tour.

Currently ranked 111th in the world, some are starting to wonder how much longer Lopez will continue playing. So far this season he has achieved a win-loss record of 9-19 with his best performance being a run to the quarter-finals of the Mallorca Open which was held on the grass. It was in Mallorca where he defeated Karen Khachanov who is the only top 30 player he has beaten so far in 2021.

I play year-by-year, the last 6-7 years have been like this, a tennis player at that age cannot think about extending his career. After turning 30 I have been lucky, I have obtained the best results of my career,” Lopez told reporters on Friday.
It is not very common for players my age, at (almost) 40 years to continue playing in the best tournaments.” He added.

Throughout his career, Lopez has impressively played in a record 78 consecutive Grand Slam tournaments dating back to the 2002 French Open. During that period he has reached the quarter-finals of a major tournament on four occasions.

“I don’t play to break records, what makes me most excited is to continue playing Grand Slams. For me, maintaining that record (78 consecutive Grand Slams played) is very nice, but more to follow. Being competitive,” he commented on the milestone.
“It is difficult for someone to overcome it because it is 20 years in a row without missing a great one. I have had continuity and enormous luck. Those of my generation are practically all retired.”

Away from the court, the former world No.12 is the current tournament director of the Madrid Open. Making him one of a few players historically to both be playing on the Tour and managing a tournament at the same time. Recently it was confirmed that Madrid will continue hosting it’s combined event until at least 2030 following a renewed agreement between the city council and the Madrid trophy promotion.

Lopez has won a total of seven ATP titles so far in his career and has earned more than $18M in prize money.

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ATP Moves Closer To Staging Five More 12-Day Masters 1000 Events After Board Approval

Changes are coming to the men’s Tour which includes a brand new ‘profit-sharing formular’ for players.

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Masters tournaments in North America, Europe and Asia are set to be expanded over the coming months after the ATP Board recently approved some ‘key aspects’ of their strategic plan.

 

In a letter issued to players, ATP chairman Andrea Gaudenzi said an agreement has been reached concerning a variety of topics, which include the expansion of various Masters 1000 events. It is understood that the plan is for Rome, Madrid, Canada, Cincinnati and Shanghai to be increased to 12-day events instead of just one week. Putting them more in line with Indian Wells and Miami. Tennis.com reports that under the new structure, ATP 250 events will also take place during the second week of those tournaments and they could receive a subsidy from the ATP Tour, provided by extra fees paid by the Masters tournaments.

Masters 1000 events are the third highest-ranked category events in men’s tennis after Grand Slams and the ATP Finals in terms of prize money and ranking points on offer. The series was first introduced back in 1990 but it wasn’t until 2009 that the name ‘Masters 1000’ was born. The number represents how many ranking points the winner receives.

Besides the proposed changes to the Masters series, the Board has also given a green light to “a new Profit-Sharing formula” and “long-term prize money levels.” The prize money increase is reportedly said to be 2.5 percent of a base level, plus a bonus pool with a 50 percent share of the collective profit of the Masters events.

“This represents significant progress for our sport and the way our player and tournament members operate under the equal partnership of the ATP Tour. It is only through the spirit of this partnership, transparency, and alignment of interests that we can truly maximise your potential and switch our focus to the competition we face in the border sports and entertainment landscape,” Gaudenzi wrote in his letter to players.

Part of the plan also include making changes to ATP Media, who are in charge of broadcasting the events. At present it is currently jointly owned by the Tour and each of the Masters 1000 events. However, in the future it has been proposed that those tournaments trade in their ownership rights for shares in ATP media. Exact details about this process have not been publicly disclosed and it is unclear if all of the tournaments would agree to such a move.

The ATP also wants to create a ‘Tennis Data Innovations’ which will be an independent entity.

All of these proposed changes are still subject to further agreement around additional matters. The ATP have been working on details of their strategic plan for the past 18 months.

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