Ferrer, victim of his era or less talented?

Discussion in 'Former Pro Player Talk' started by pjonesy, Jan 26, 2013.

  1. pjonesy

    pjonesy Professional

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    Ferrer gets tons of credit for being consistent, super quick, competitive and super fit. He leads the tour in wins, but can't beat the top 4 and reach a slam final. Is it a function of being unlucky and playing in the Fed, Djoker, Nadal, Murray era? Or is he just a smaller player, who does not possess the talent and/or variety of similarly sized players of the past like Chang, Rios or Hewitt?
     
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  2. BrooklynNY

    BrooklynNY Hall of Fame

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    David Ferrer would be world #1 if he played in the 2020's
     
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  3. Djoker

    Djoker Rookie

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    No real weapons with which to hurt the top guys.
    The poor man's version of Rafa is still a terrific player, though. But tenacity and pure doggedness can only carry you so far.
     
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  4. TMF

    TMF Talk Tennis Guru

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    You can't blame him because he's undersized for a tennis player. The big 4 are bigger, stronger, and have weapons. He's a workaholics, but nothing he can do when he gets overpowered. And he knows he's overmatched.
     
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  5. NadalAgassi

    NadalAgassi Guest

    He is a victim of his era and being his size. Then again Hewitt and Chang were no bigger and are just better players than him, and would be better players than him prime vs prime in any era. To his credit he has lasted alot longer and had a much longer prime than Hewitt, but despite that achieved nowhere near as much in a much longer prime as he just isnt as good a player.
     
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  6. matchmaker

    matchmaker Hall of Fame

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    I don't think Chang was better than Ferrer, he just got lucky with some draws. He could only win one major at the age of 16 and then nothing more. Most top players were fairly confident of being able to put him aside, much like they feel about Ferrer.
     
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  7. pjonesy

    pjonesy Professional

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    Because he would be #1 in the sub 6ft class? Anticipating height divisions, you could be right.
     
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  8. NadalAgassi

    NadalAgassi Guest

    Chang has made 4 slam finals. Ferrer one. Chang has won 7 Masters, Ferrer only 1. The two are not in the same league. You also cant prove Chang wouldnt have reached any slam finals or won any Masters in this era. Ferrer has lost slam semifinals to a very subpar Murray (2011 Australian), a very young Djokovic (2007 U.S Open), and lost in slams in his best surfaces numerous times to lower ranked opponents, and so on. Tsonga, Soderling, Robredo, Berdych, and others have all won their first Masters before he could. Chang has atleast beaten the likes of Agassi, Courier, Edberg, and Lendl in slams. Ferrers only ever big wins in a slam are over Nadal on hard courts, that is it, and no beating Murray at RG is definitely not a big win, sorry.

    I do agree the very top players with a big games were confident vs Chang, just as they were with Ferrer, but Chang was still harder work and a more dangerous foe than Ferrer was.
     
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  9. bluetrain4

    bluetrain4 Legend

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    Ferrer made a Slam final?
     
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  10. Mustard

    Mustard Talk Tennis Guru

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    Chang never beat Courier in a major. Their only major meeting was in the quarter finals of the 1995 US Open. Courier won 7-6, 7-6, 7-5.
     
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  11. NadalAgassi

    NadalAgassi Guest

    Sorry I meant to say none. Was a typo.
     
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  12. zagor

    zagor Talk Tennis Guru

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    I like David but IMO Chang, Rios and Hewitt are much better players, the depth is very lacking below top 4 at the moment IMO which is why Ferrer is doing so well (relatively speaking).
     
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  13. BeHappy

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    Still running around correcting everyone over trivial points Mustard eh? Copied and pasted? At least it wasn't me this time.
     
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  14. Mustard

    Mustard Talk Tennis Guru

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    Copy and pasted what, exactly?
     
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  15. Relinquis

    Relinquis Hall of Fame

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    It's not his size. Is he smaller than Rios or Hewit? He's faster and has more stamina than players 5-6 years younger than he is. You can see this in the way he runs balls down.

    It's his style of play. He doesn't junkball like Murray, he doesn't build up pressure from the baseline like Djokovic, he doesn't have Nadals assortment of insane spins, he doesn't have federer's touch or aggressive tennis (shot-making, movement and temperament).

    His match against Almagro during this current Australian Open showed this. Even when Almagro was limping around in the last set, it took ages for Ferrer to take him down because his game is so defensive.

    Another good match to see his weakness is Ferrer Vs. Davydenko at Doha earlier this year. He doesn't play aggressive tennis in terms of shot making and coming into the court like Davydenko does, although he is far superior to him in defense. Ferrer Vs. Nishikori at this years AO also showed that he doesn't have the ability to counter attack in the way other top 10 players do, although he did beat Kei by wearing him down and being in better shape.

    He also had no net game (in comparison to other top 10 folks that is).

    Mentally, he's one of the toughest competitors on tour. He just hasn't added any attacking strategies. I wonder what would happen if he had another coach that focused on this.
     
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  16. pc1

    pc1 Legend

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    I don't think the guy is talented enough. He is a terrific player but he doesn't have anything to hurt the top players in my opinion. Excellent groundies and a terrific return but no real weapon like Nadal's forehand to use an example.
     
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  17. President

    President Legend

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    I don't think he would have won majors in any era (barring a fluke, worse players than him have won slams) but I do think he could have won some more Masters 1000 or Super 9 titles if he played in another time period, he has a good game that is reliable on all types of surface speeds and is very consistent with his level. It just happens that the top 4 in this era are even very consistent in this level of tournament these days.
     
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  18. dominikk1985

    dominikk1985 Legend

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    hewitt is much bigger than ferrer. he is about 2 inches taller and 10 pounds heavier.

    I think ferrer would have reached a slam final and with a lot of luck maybe even won one in a weaker era but he never would have been a dominant force.

    I don't think roddick is a lot better than him. in fact ferrer leads roddick h2h 7-4 and a lot of those matches were in roddicks prime before his prime.
     
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  19. matchmaker

    matchmaker Hall of Fame

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    Point taken. But again I think that history plays a big role in the development of a player. At 16 years of age, Chang got about the biggest boost in self-confidence you could ever have. Whereas Ferrer rose to top ranks at a later stage in his tennis carreer and although he has gotten some good results too (I do think beating a multiple HC champion on the surface is noteworthy), he could never win against some players.

    I can indeed not prove it, but I really think Chang would not have played a big role in this era.

    But let's say that in absence of that proof Chang is still better than Ferrer.

    I think that what makes them more alike is how the real top players think about them and what they think is that they can easily beat these guys when it matters.

    None of the two has/had had a lot of authority at that point.
     
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  20. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

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    Hey, somebody has to keep the standards up around here.

    If we don't point out people's goofs, then the next thing you know someone will be claiming the Federer is the greatest of all time. Go figure.:-?
     
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  21. Devilito

    Devilito Hall of Fame

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    Chang was a better, more complete version of Ferrer. There is nothing Ferrer does better than Chang. End of story
     
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  22. Legend of Borg

    Legend of Borg Legend

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    Or that Laver would have a chance of even being top 10 in today's game....

    Yep, gotta set them fools straight.
     
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  23. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

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    Or that Tilden had a decent serve.

    Unbelievable!
     
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  24. dominikk1985

    dominikk1985 Legend

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    ferrer has a lot more power than chang.

    ferrer can easily hit with all those 6"5 100 mph FH hitters like berdych, DP, Tsonga, söderling and so on (he is not as powerfull as them of course but he is not getting chased around by them).

    there were simply no 6"5 monster hitters like DP or söderling around in the 90s. do you think chang could have hung with those big hitters as well as ferrer does? even guys like almagro or wawrinka hit way harder than anyone in the 90s did.

    I don't want to glorify ferrer too much as he has clear limits in his game but we just have to acknowledge that this era with guys like federer, nadal and nole is tougher than any era in history.
     
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2013
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  25. pjonesy

    pjonesy Professional

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    Good points, matchmaker. So are you implying that Chang's confidence was immediately elevated when he won the FO? Ferrer had a more conventional rise through the rankings. Ferrer built his confidence, brick by brick. Chang hit the jackpot.

    I can see that.
     
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  26. Anaconda

    Anaconda Hall of Fame

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    Is this a joke? 5 slam finals to 0. 5 MS titles to 0. 30 + titles to whatever Ferrer has (certainly not 30). Roddick has outperformed Ferrer at AO, Wimbledon and the US Open. Roddick was a lot more influential in his DC winning team than Ferrer ever was. Keep in mind Roddick had to face Federer from 2003-2007. Also keep in mind Federer in 2012-2013 is still giving the best of this generation a run for their money.


    H2H is pointless. Are you seriously suggesting Ferrer would take Roddick at Wimbledon 2003/2004/2005 or 2009? I think Roddick is a lot better than Ferrer.
     
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  27. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    Ferrer is current Solly
    Since he plays a rather weak era he reaches the semis Solly could not because of his strong field
     
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  28. Nathaniel_Near

    Nathaniel_Near G.O.A.T.

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    Relax folks, ...
    I'm still puzzling over how David Ferrer can be a top 5 player. I guess current conditions do fit his game beautifully, but still... puzzling. I do like him, though.
     
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  29. pc1

    pc1 Legend

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    He is solid player but with no huge weapons to hurt an opponent. The man is fast and is also one of the best returners in tennis.
     
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2013
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  30. Relinquis

    Relinquis Hall of Fame

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    Ok. Ferrer is no Nadal, Federer, or Djokovic, but he OWNs a lot of the players that are idolised on this forum. Del Potro is one of them. Check out their WTF match last year (2012).

    Ferrer is the real deal, the guy is a stud. I don't know why this is in the former player section. He's still number 4 in the world.
     
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  31. Nathaniel_Near

    Nathaniel_Near G.O.A.T.

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    Relax folks, ...
    That, we all know, which is why it's puzzling that he would be in the top 5. In short I'm inferring responsibility to the current conditions. As valiant as David Ferrer is, I find it slightly odd that such an uncreative method of playing can garner for a player such a consistently high rank. A player who really does have less weapons in his 'strokes' than probably most of the top 20, and maybe even the top 40 or so.
     
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  32. USS Tang

    USS Tang Rookie

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    Racket technology has turned tennis into baseline whack-a-mole boredom. Pure athleticism (running, jumping, etc.) is 3/4 of the sport; skill only 1/4. Contrast this with the players 40+ years ago who made do with wooden or aluminum rackets and head sizes of 65 sq. in.
    Watch Ken Rosewall and Tony Roche in the 1970 U.S. Open final. Nobody today can do what they did then. Link is below.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lJubuKDN7Fk
     
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  33. Boricua

    Boricua Hall of Fame

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    Dont think so.
     
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  34. El Diablo

    El Diablo Hall of Fame

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    I cannot understand these threads where a top-5 player is deemed a "victim" because there are better players in the world. People seem to lose perspective on just how great it is to be a top-5 guy (just as they lost perspective on Roddick, declaring his career a disappointment despite something like 9 years in the top-10). Ferrer is quite a good player but he's not a world-beater, and his record seems commensurate with his talent.
     
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  35. President

    President Legend

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    Ferrer returns exceptionally well, on the same level as Murray and Djokovic. He has phenomenal pure footwork, the best in the game along with Federer and Nadal (and better than Djokovic and Murray) and great speed and athleticism (though not as much as players like Djokovic and Nadal). He takes the ball pretty early, which enables him to frustrate bigger and more powerful opponents like Del Potro, and has a very good forehand which he can place on a dime along with a rock solid backhand. Add to that his very strong mentality and unlimited stamina, and you have a solid top 5 player.
     
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  36. Nathaniel_Near

    Nathaniel_Near G.O.A.T.

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    Relax folks, ...
    This seems like a more elaborate version of PC1's post. It's rather interesting how at his advanced age he has found further and further success in his career. He had tremendous footwork and was a fantastic returner many years ago also, curious though how as the conditions continued to become more grindtastic, Ferrer found a smoother groove. No disrespect to Ferrer who is a very good player, but I think he has benefited hugely from a slow sequence of condition changes - much more so than many of the other players around him. The trending ethos in tennis play at the top of the game had also aided Ferrer much in the way that they conspired against Hewitt.

    Hewitt was excellent at using the natural pace of conditions to create counter-play. He also had exceptional passing shots and very much loved a target. Tennis changed around him, and he couldn't adapt and couldn't generate enough of his own pace from the slowing conditions of the tour (whether conditions slowed due to surfaces, balls, prevailing tennis ethos or other and/or a combination of all is up for debate). In the same way, tennis has changed around Ferrer in a manner which suits him tremendously, however he still lacks the weapons and talent required to break through at the very top level of the game for even a finals appearance. Other points can be referred to that were also contributive to the aforementioned eventualities, such as injury and levels of maturity - these exist, but do not undermine the premise of the argument.
     
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2013
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  37. President

    President Legend

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    Ferrer is great on fast surfaces too though because his footwork is so good and he takes the ball so early, I think his current rank has a lot more to do with his improvement as a player than the slowing of the courts (though that may be a factor as well). At the end of 2012 he thrashed Berdych (one of the players you would probably consider superior to him) in Davis Cup on a lightning quick indoor hard court, he also beat Del Potro at WTF again on an indoor hard court.
     
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  38. Andres

    Andres G.O.A.T.

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    Ivanisevic, Krajicek, Stich, Philippoussis, Todd Martin, Rosset? Becker was 6'3' but still a monster hitter.
     
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  39. Nathaniel_Near

    Nathaniel_Near G.O.A.T.

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    Relax folks, ...
    I think it has more to do with how the elements he is strong with and/or worked on coincide with the requirement hierarchy of the era, and this has further aided his maturity and mental powers. As for Berdych being superior, that's a close call with the current conditions. Ferrer has shown more consistency but Berdych has made a major final. For me it's all about what is most suited at a certain point in time, and who can adapt the best to certain conditions, which is not always a question of who is superior at adapting but also pertains to some luck, after all, it would be unfair to ask an elephant to climb a tree...

    If conditions had become faster instead of slower, Ferrer could still consistently be top 10 but I'd imagine that someone like Tsonga might have traded positions with Ferrer in terms of right now holding a top 4 rank. I'd have quite liked Tsonga's chances to win a Major title actually (though he came close at WTF 2011). I still hold out hope that he can win one as I am a big fan of his game. Incidentally, I was particularly pleased when Ferrer won a 1000 title finally, as I believe it is the least that he deserves.
     
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  40. dominikk1985

    dominikk1985 Legend

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    very good Point. the top4 beat him so badly because they are great in defense and offense. they just have a better answer to anything ferrer does.

    but against the guys of the second row, even the big hitters he is hanging in well and not only by retrieving (pure retrieving won't win you any matches in modern Tennis) but also by moving them around and taking the offense.

    pure hitting or running doesn't hurt, what does hurt him is the combination of both.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JeRSpyDUJ4g
     
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  41. President

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    All I am saying is that I think you may be wrong about the slow conditions hugely benefitting Ferrer, they benefit players like Nadal and Djokovic a lot more than they do David. Hell, even back in 2007 Ferrer made the WTF final on a fast carpet court, it is a myth that he struggles on fast surfaces when in fact he may even be better on them than slow ones. He also beat Del Potro last year at Wimbledon, a relatively fast court even these days.
     
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  42. Nathaniel_Near

    Nathaniel_Near G.O.A.T.

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    Relax folks, ...
    I'm inclined to disagree, but that doesn't mean you are wrong. None of these players are useless on faster surfaces; Nadal for example has won Wimbledon twice, as we all know. Still, Ferrer and Nadal's preferred conditions are of the slower variety, and Wimbledon is the only Major in which Ferrer hasn't made a semifinal. So to my mind, the changing of the conditions more or less benefited Nadal, Ferrer and Djokovic equally relative to their ability levels. There is one thing about Djokovic's resume that bothers, in that in the very year the AO court surface was changed, he won his first Slam, and it was where he started his monster run in 2011 as well. It just so turned out that the grindtastic steady conditions of the plexicushion at the AO suit his game absolutely wonderfully. By contrast, the rebound ace surface was more volatile (changeable) and reactive. Now I don't want to take away from Nole's greatness, but it's a point worth mentioning, I think. Nice to be having this discussion with you.
     
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  43. NadalAgassi

    NadalAgassi Guest

    Prime to prime Ferrer is way better on clay, is surprisingly better indoors (Ferrer has a WTF final and a Masters title indoors, neither which Roddick has,, Roddick surprisingly has virtually no results indoors and got spanked by Ferrer at the 07 WTF in the semis), and roughly equal on very slow hard courts like Australia. Roddick is much better on fast hard courts grass, and better on medium faced hard courts. I agree Roddick is better but when you break it down by the various surfaces it is actually closer than one might think.
     
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  44. Nathaniel_Near

    Nathaniel_Near G.O.A.T.

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    Relax folks, ...
    Sorry, I haven't even properly answered the original thread question. So to cut a long story short, I don't see Ferrer as a victim of his era, but rather a benefiter of this era, if one can put it that way. Or in other words, do I see Ferrer having his current consistency and rank during most or all other eras of the Open Era? - no, not really. Rather I see him as a product of this era and a member of the vanguard which defines it. He doesn't possess the same level of talent that Chang, Rios et al had. To quote Neil Fox, ' It isn't scientifically proven, but it IS fact! ' Well, it certainly isn't fact, and I can't scientifically prove it, but I do firmly believe it though, as speculative as anyone's opinion could be on the matter.
     
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2013
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  45. President

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    I think the movement on grass (which is totally different from hard court) is what hurts Ferrer more than the surface speed. The same can be said of Safin or Davydenko, both of whom were very good on fast hard courts but couldn't play at even close to their potential on grass. Still, Ferrer hammered Del Potro at Wimbledon last year and was very close to taking a 2-0 lead on Andy Murray in the quarterfinals.

    There is no great disparity between Ferrer's fast court results and slow court results, and if you break down his game it seems well suited for any surface speed. There is just little basis for your assertion that he has hugely benefitted from slow courts.
     
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  46. Nathaniel_Near

    Nathaniel_Near G.O.A.T.

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    Relax folks, ...
    This isn't all about Ferrer but the players around him, who like much less to engage in fierce wars of attrition from the baseline. There is little basis that goes beyond being speculative for any opinion you or myself could offer to this debate, merely reasoned theory. We can only guess about the results Ferrer's game would have earned him were the paradigm to have veered off in a contrary direction. I've made my guess and reasoned it on Ferrer's style owing itself to the current paradigm and battles of attrition, while at the same time believing that guys like Tsonga and Berdych have games more naturally tailored to conditions that reward aggression and shot-making prowess more than fantastic retrieval abilities and stamina. However were a scenario to be played out, who knows, maybe Ferrer would have adapted the same way either way or maybe he'd have been slightly worse off, as I suspect, while players like Tsonga and Roddick (shot-maker/all courter and - big serve/weapons) do a little bit better. At the end of it all, one can only speculate.
     
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  47. Mlenk

    Mlenk New User

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    I don't know. I think if you give Chang today's technology (poly strings, etc), he could easily hit with the same kind of power as Ferrer.

    I honestly think that if you put Ferrer back into the 90's with 90's technology, he wouldn't have had the same results as Chang had in the 90's.
     
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  48. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    In a weak era a guy like him gets to number 4!!!
    In 70 and 80 he would fare no better than Higueras or Barazutti
     
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  49. kiki

    kiki Banned

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    In 1979 number 4 was Gerulaitis in 1980 Vilas and in 81 Lendl
    See the differences boys?
     
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  50. Anaconda

    Anaconda Hall of Fame

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    And what does Ferrer actually have to show on clay? I don't even think he's won an 1000 series or masters event on that surface and has only made 1 semifinal at the French open and one quater final. You might want to know that most players are a lot better on clay than Roddick; it's hardly anything to praise.



    BTW, Roddick was actually injured during that match. Let's not pretend that 2007 was Roddick playing lights out tennis, the guy was simply rolling forehands and slicing backhands all year.




    As for Australia/slow hard courts, Roddick's record is clearly a lot better than Ferrer's. Ferrer has made two semifinals in what I call an anomaly of an era with 3, maybe 4 insane talents coupled with practically nothing after that. Roddck has made 4 semfinals and two quater finals in Australia. You also might want to note that Roddick's record on the hard court masters is clearly superior to Ferrer's. So no, on any hard court - be it fast, slow or medium there is no 'close contest' about this matchup.




    2011-2012 are the only years Ferrer outperformed Roddick. In a consistent era with more than 3 or 4 good players I doubt Ferrer would ever make the top 5 - he's lucky that there are no more than 4 world class players in the game today (although those players are amazing).




    In terms of game, Ferrer has believed in his game plan and has gotten the best out of his limitations. Pays similar to Hewitt; Grinds/hits flat on the rise/ constructs points/returns well/solid from every department/hard to break physically and mentally. I don't know what to say about Roddick sometimes. He could go on absolute tears, hitting 4 forehand winners in single games on even the slowest of hard courts against the likes of Federer and Nadal, but would then get beat by guys like Istomic, Monaco. what a joke.
     
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