Is David Ferrer the greatest player to never win a major?

clout

Hall of Fame
#1
With Ferrer's GS career coming to a close tonight, in your opinions, is Ferrer the greatest player to never win a major? At least in the open era.

His resume includes:
1 RG Final
1 Masters Title (6 runner-ups)
1 WTF Final
Career High Ranking of #3 in the world
Spent hundreds of weeks in the top 5
726 Match Wins (4th among active players)
27 Career Titles Overall (most among active players following the big four)
145 GS Match Wins (most wins among players who never won a slam)
10 ATP 500 Titles (5th most since 1990)
17 Major Quarterfinals or better
6 Major Semifinals or better
Led the Tour in titles won in 2012, with 7
3 Davis Cups
53 wins over top 10 players
46 Masters Quarterfinals or better
17 Masters Semifinals or better
$31.2 Mil in Prize Money (7th all time and most among slamless players)
Had to compete against the big four constantly at big tournaments

I'm not sure if Daveeed is truly the best to never win a slam as they're quite a lot of candidates for this discussion as well, but I think Ferrer surely has to be among the top given how the rest of his career stacks up.
 
Last edited:

Aussie Darcy

Talk Tennis Guru
#8
Tough call. His overall record is good, but consider that all of the following players competed in two or more Slam finals:

Alex Corretja (also won the WTF and was ranked #2)
Mark Philippoussis
Todd Martin
Cedric Pioline
Robin Soderling
Philippoussis won 11 career titles, Ferrer won 27. Mark also only made 2 slam SF’s in his whole career (both he won), Ferrer made 6.

Söderling was even worse then that..

Not even close. Slam finals aren’t the only thing that matters.
 
#9
Ferrer vs. the four ranked ahead of him for most of his days: 16-72 (22.22%)

Tsonga vs. those same players: 18-49 (36.73%)

Berdych vs. those same players 19-75 (25.33%)

We can conclude that Ferrer is simply a vulturing mug and no more. His bowing down to daddy Ned tonight was a rightful end to the career.
 

clout

Hall of Fame
#13
Nah. For all the talk about his "warrior qualities", he almost always rolled over against the top dogs when it mattered. Case in point, Miami and Rome 2013. There are more of those, but I can't remember all of them right now.
Correct me if I'm wrong but didn't Ferrer have match point on Mury GOAT in Miami 2013 before Murray finished it off in a third set tiebreak
 
#15
No he's not. His result at grand slams is largely a result of his play style. When you're as defensive and pushy as he is, consistency will show in the results -- hence why he had great success in making semifinals and quarterfinals in majors. This comes with the double edged sword of where if you're out-grinding your opponent the whole time, it probably isn't going to cut it against the big 4. He was never as big a threat to the big 4 as people like Tsonga, Berdych, and DelPo -- who were more prone to go out of tournaments earlier as an outgrowth of their play style.
 

Sabratha

Talk Tennis Guru
#17
Then again Ferrer has even given Federer some close ones, just due to the horrible matchup between them he's never managed to beat him.

A shame.
 
#19
With Ferrer's GS career coming to a close tonight, in your opinions, is Ferrer the greatest player to never win a major? At least in the open era.

His resume includes:
1 RG Final
1 Masters Title (6 runner-ups)
1 WTF Final
Career High Ranking of #3 in the world
Spent hundreds of weeks in the top 5
726 Match Wins (4th among active players)
27 Career Titles Overall (most among active players following the big four)
145 GS Match Wins (most wins among players who never won a slam)
10 ATP 500 Titles (5th most since 1990)
17 Major Quarterfinals or better
6 Major Semifinals or better
Led the Tour in titles won in 2012, with 7
3 Davis Cups
53 wins over top 10 players
46 Masters Quarterfinals or better
17 Masters Semifinals or better
$31.2 Mil in Prize Money (7th all time and most among slamless players)
Had to compete against the big four constantly at big tournaments

I'm not sure if Daveeed is truly the best to never win a slam as they're quite a lot of candidates for this discussion as well, but I think Ferrer surely has to be among the top given how the rest of his career stacks up.
He was a superb player in the day with superb consistency and tenacity
 
#23
The energy and mental focus to beat nadal is utterly insane
Nadal literally goes 100 percent every point

Nadal makes few errors

I don’t think I could even win a point off nadal as I would collapse after 3 games
 

Pheasant

Hall of Fame
#25
I would give this to Milolav Mecir. He played in a really tough era and he played Hall of Fame players really tough.

He was 2-3 vs McEnroe
2-2 vs Connors
5-8 vs Edberg
6-4 vs Wilander

He also went to 2 slam finals. For peak value, I go with Mecir.

Of course, David played longer and has the better resume. But for peak, I take Mecir.
 
#26
The energy and mental focus to beat nadal is utterly insane
Nadal literally goes 100 percent every point

Nadal makes few errors

I don’t think I could even win a point off nadal as I would collapse after 3 games
The fact that you can compete with Nadal for 3 games is more than enough.
 
#29
No he's not. His result at grand slams is largely a result of his play style. When you're as defensive and pushy as he is, consistency will show in the results -- hence why he had great success in making semifinals and quarterfinals in majors. This comes with the double edged sword of where if you're out-grinding your opponent the whole time, it probably isn't going to cut it against the big 4. He was never as big a threat to the big 4 as people like Tsonga, Berdych, and DelPo -- who were more prone to go out of tournaments earlier as an outgrowth of their play style.
 
#30
Oh no....again people viewing tennis with a myopic vision. Tennis did not start with this generation people...
True.
Anyone who has watched tennis in late 90s(my age group's people) or early 2000s will not jump on the running jeep. Ferrer is a good player, but certainly not the best from "slamless" grouo

Then again Ferrer has even given Federer some close ones, just due to the horrible matchup between them he's never managed to beat him.

A shame.
He was on the verge of bagelling fed in 2014 W&S final
 

Mainad

Bionic Poster
#31
Correct me if I'm wrong but didn't Ferrer have match point on Mury GOAT in Miami 2013 before Murray finished it off in a third set tiebreak
That's correct. They exchanged several breaks of serve in the 3rd set on a hot and humid day at Crandon Park. Both players were exhausted in the intense heat. In the deciding tie-break they exchanged mini-breaks too (if my memory serves me right). Finally Ferrer secured a championship point but then made the tactical mistake of challenging Murray's return which looked like it might have just landed out. In fact Hawkeye showed that it had caught the line. Murray then secured the title on the next couple of points. Ferrer had been just a few inches away from securing a 2nd Masters title that day.
 

Red Rick

Talk Tennis Guru
#32
Not even close. Rios and Nalbandian, as well as Mecir ahead of David.
I think this is once again 'great vs best'

In talent and peak level he's most certainly not. In results he's up there, but I think I'll still pick Nalbandian.

I would love for Zverev to take this title though:p
 

Mainad

Bionic Poster
#33
Ferrer is certainly the one who has won the most titles (27) without winning a Slam. It's far from certain if he can be called the most accomplished though. Several players like Rios (5 Masters), Nalbandian (WTF and 2 Masters) and Davydenko (WTF and 3 Masters) won more bigger titles even if, in Davydenko's case, they didn't all make a Slam final like Ferrer did.

Ferrer will still go down in history as having one of the most impressive resumées of any non-Slam winner.
 
Last edited:

Gizo

Hall of Fame
#35
I would rank him as Spain's greatest ever Davis Cup player.

He was unbeaten at home in the competition until he lost to Zverev in Spain's QF earlier this year, although he rebounded from that loss by winning the crucial 5th rubber against Kohlschreiber. And on top of that he also has some impressive away wins.
 
#37
Ferrer is certainly the highest ranked player (#3) and the one who has won the most titles (27) without winning a Slam. It's far from certain if he can be called the most accomplished though. Several players like Rios (5 Masters), Nalbandian (WTF and 2 Masters) and Davydenko (WTF and 3 Masters) won more bigger titles even if, in Davydenko's case, they didn't all make a Slam final like Ferrer did.

Ferrer will still go down in history as having one of the most impressive resumées of any non-Slam winner.
Rios reached #1 and Corretja reached #2. Okker had 33 Open Era titles and also reached #3.
 

Gizo

Hall of Fame
#39
As I said on another thread, if there's one big shame about Ferrer's career, it's that he wasn't able to win a genuinely big title on clay, i.e. a masters series title on the surface or a Barcelona Godó title which is a very big deal for Spanish players (several of whom consider it to be more important than Madrid).

In total he was stopped 18 times at RG, clay court masters series events or Barcelona by Nadal, including in 7 finals at those tournaments.

At Hamburg in 2006 when there was no Nadal or Federer after their exploits in Rome the previous week, Robredo capitalised by beating Ferrer in their QF (winning 7 points in a row after trailing 6-1 in the 1st set tiebreak), and going on to win the title. At Barcelona in 2010 when Nadal withdrew presenting a golden opportunity to the other Spanish players, Verdasco who had the upper hand in their h2h at the time beat Ferrer in the semis and then beat Soderling in the final to capitalise. And at Monte-Carlo in 2014 when he finally beat Nadal on clay for the first time in nearly 10 years (when he saved 3 match points to beat him in Stuttgart in 2004), he was stopped in the next round by Wawrinka who then beat Federer to win the title.
 
Last edited:
#40
Ferrer is right where he belongs and I don't think he was the greatest to never win a major. However I think his aggressive instinct was underrated and he definitely wasn't the defensive pusher most make him out to be. He hit plenty hard for a person his size and had more functional groundstrokes than the hyped tall guys.
 
#43
Oh no....again people viewing tennis with a myopic vision. Tennis did not start with this generation people...
Huge contribution to the thread.

No he's not. His result at grand slams is largely a result of his play style. When you're as defensive and pushy as he is, consistency will show in the results -- hence why he had great success in making semifinals and quarterfinals in majors. This comes with the double edged sword of where if you're out-grinding your opponent the whole time, it probably isn't going to cut it against the big 4. He was never as big a threat to the big 4 as people like Tsonga, Berdych, and DelPo -- who were more prone to go out of tournaments earlier as an outgrowth of their play style.
First, Ferrer is not a defensive minded player. He is an offensive player with no powerful weapons. Second, regardless of play style, if one could simply copy David Ferrer and make it to nearly 20 major QFs, they would. It is hardly that simple. Lastly, even if all that was true, so what? He still had the career he had and Tsonga (who I love) had his career, the latter does not get bonus points for playing prettier tennis.
 
#47
Ferrer is certainly one of the hardest workers ever. He worked his tail in day in and day out and is very well respected among his peers for it. Arguably he is the king of the 250/500 level tournament. However is he the best to never win a major? I really do not think so. If he hadn't managed to win Paris in 2012 I would have said he was the best to never win a masters shield however....but there is a big leap between that and a major trophy. There were always to many people on each surface would could beat him. Even his best surface, clay, he was outgunned by several.

I really like Ferrer, and I'll miss him on the tour. His work ethic, determination, approach...he is truly a class act. But in terms of being the best to not win a major, he doesn't rise to the top of the list.
 
Top