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Gonzalito17 11-26-2012 01:10 PM

Juan Carlos Ferrero, the Rodney Dangerfield of tennis
Juan Carlos Ferrero, won Roland Garros, won the Davis Cup, achieved the #1 ranking, made finals of US Open (beat Agassi to get there), yet nobody ever talks about him. Even last year I attended the US Open and JCF was hitting on court 16 and TWO people were watching, as a qualies match was going on next to him with dozens of people. Strange to see a slam champ and former #1 performing under such anonymity. He was a great player, the king of clay for one year, won three Master series. Also was runner up in 2002 World Tour finals losing epic five setter to #1 Hewitt 6-4 in the fifth. He was a machine from the baseline who could grind and fight all day, surprisingly well for such a slight skinny guy. I guess the eventual physicality of the game and his exhausting 2003 season when he posted a career high 67-21 record, took a toll on his less then Herculean body. But how quickly people forget The Mosquito. I haven't. He was a great player. Here is a decent interview with JCF who just retired this year. The Mosquito is a shoo in for Hall of Fame in Newport IMO...

Mustard 11-26-2012 01:54 PM

The dynamics of Juan Carlos Ferrero as a player totally changed after the spring of 2004, when he contracted chicken pox and got a few injury problems. Before that, he was a great clay-court player, and he could also play very well on hardcourt, and he had one of the best forehands in tennis. In early 2004, for example, it was Federer, Roddick and Ferrero as the top 3 players in the world. After the spring of 2004, he seemed to become better on grass, yet worse on other surfaces, and that dominant forehand just disappeared. He became a run of the mill player for the most part after this, and wasn't amongst the elite again on any consistent basis.

NadalAgassi 11-26-2012 02:28 PM

I think he is rated about right. He was a great clay courter, who could be an occasional threat on other surfaces but wasnt regularly one of the top guys on any other surface. He had a promising career which fizzled out due to unfortunate illness and injury, and never regained the momentum he once had, which I think everyone remembers well and knows. For a 1 slam winner he is considered pretty strong. People though generally rate him below or dont talk about him as much as Safin, Hewitt, or Roddick in this era, and that is about right. He was never a World #1 who won Wimbledon, U.S Open, 2 WTFs, and 2 year end #1s like Hewitt. He did not play some of historys best ever tennis and crush a GOAT and beat another GOAT at his peak like Safin did at the 2000 U.S Open or 2005 Australian Open. He was not around as a top 10 player for a whole decade and thus there to be talked about again and again, like Roddick. All those guys overall achieved more, had more longevity, and were a consistent threat on more surfaces. Good thread though.

Gonzalito17 11-26-2012 05:12 PM

Solid assessments. Agreed. Just want to add that I think the heavy workloads of 01 and 02 and 03 took a lot out of Ferrero, depleted his energy tanks. Sort of like Massu who just about killed himself to win the OLY singles and doubles in 04 with all those long crazy 5 setters. Massu was just never the same. Nor was Ferrero after his big years.

NadalAgassi 11-26-2012 06:00 PM

True. It is a shame he never got back to his old self. I was always surprised he didnt. Maybe physically he lost something like you suggested, it couldnt all have been mental could it have been? He was capable of winning another French or two (although he would have to do it fast since Nadal from atleast 06 or 07 onwards would have been almost out of reach there), and was improving enough on hard courts he might have surprised with a big win at some point on those too, atleast a Masters if not more. He came close at both the 02 WTF and 03 U.S Open to a huge title, well sort of since the 03 U.S Open final was a royal *** whooping. He should have been a top 5 player for many years, the guys ranked there until 07/08 were not that strong.

Kirijax 11-26-2012 07:34 PM

I remember Ferrero well. The Mosquito. For a while it looked like Federer, Roddick, Hewitt, and Ferrero would dominate and have great rivalries but Federer ran away. After his sickness and injuries, I kept waiting for him to move back into the top ten but it never happened. Nadal appeared on the scene and that was the end of that it seemed. Good player though.

Moose Malloy 11-27-2012 04:42 PM


Former No. 1 Juan Carlos Ferrero will coach fellow Spaniard Nicolas Almagro on a part-time basis next season. Ferrero, who retired after losing to Almagro in Valencia in late October, reportedly told the media during the Davis Cup final that he does not want to travel full-time, but that he will join Almagro at the tournament in Acapulco at the end of February.

galain 11-27-2012 10:56 PM

JCF had a beautiful game and a couple of fantastic years at the top of the clay court tree. However, I can't name another top player who played as badly as he did when he was having an off day. Finding a way to win when you're not at your best is something we see in all the greats. Sadly, when JCF wasn't at his best, he wasn't good at all.

Talking about 'forgotten' champs - I sat courtside with about 12 other people for one of Albert Costa's AO matches. Also a sad audience for a former clay court king and grand slam champion.

PhrygianDominant 11-28-2012 12:07 AM

his forehand just wasn't as good after 2003. Too bad, he was great.

Gonzalito17 11-28-2012 03:36 PM

Ferrero said his best match ever was the time he beat Agassi at US Open the year he made finals. That was a helluva performance to beat Agassi like that. Almost beating Hewitt in the WTF 6-4 in the fifth, vs. a prime Hewitt, shows just how good JCF was. Unfortunately he didn't have the physicality to stay at that top level for a long time.

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