by James A. Crabtree
David Ferrer has been an elite top ten player for a considerable amount of time. He has made four grand slam semi-finals and won three Davis Cup titles for Spain.
He has also won eighteen career titles and leads the 2012 tour with titles won in Paris, Valencia , Bastad , s-Hertogenbosch , Acapulco , Buenos Aires and Auckland . If you weren’t counting that is seven titles and on every surface.
Not bad for a guy who could have ended up on a building site.
“Once, as a teenager, when Ferrer did not practice hard enough, his coach, Javier Piles, locked him in a completely dark 2m x 2m ball closet for several hours, giving him only a piece of bread and a bit of water. After this incident he was fed up with tennis and went to work at a construction site, but after a week he returned to Piles and asked if he could remain at the club and play tennis. As of 2012, he is still coached by Piles and has said he considers him a second father.”
Simply put Ferrer is a player who has become a tennis master on the grandest of stages because of necessity. Not only does he have the talent, but also the determination needed to match it to become successful. It is obvious that he has found his resolve from hours and hours on the practice court then consistently polished it to a winning formula when the points have counted. Judgement and retort, dependability and dexterity. The guy’s feet never ever stop moving, even on a changeover.
But should David Ferrer be an elite player? Well, no, depending on whom you ask?
For a start experts believe an elite player should be 6’1 or taller and they should possess a dominant serve. The majority of technicians believe a player should hit the forehand with a circular ark. Fans believe a player should have one dominate stroke that strikes fear into any foe.
On the face of it David Ferrer has none of these attributes. For a start he is listed at the most popular actor height of 5’9, which puts him at eye level with Johnny Depp and Robert De Niro. He isn’t intimidating like Del Potro, flashy like Tsonga or powerful like Berdych. In fact of all men ranked within the top 10 some would argue that Ferrer is the least talked about. He doesn’t have a dominate stroke and he scurries around the court in between points like a man without a coat on a cold winters night.
However during point play the scurrying takes on a whole new form. His side stepping baseline coverage beggars belief. Most importantly he takes charge when returning serve. Statistically speaking in 2012 he ranked within the top five for points won on the first serve, second serve and return games won. He is fourth on the all-time list of career return games won, winning 35%. In layman’s terms the servers are under pressure. Once the ball comes back the pressure is compounded by the consistent grinding that has been the major characteristic of his career, and the success of his most recent win in Paris.
A career that could have been very different, it’s safe to say that this determined little Spaniard has made the right choice in pursuing a professional tennis career over that of a very different sort of grind.
Tsonga unleashes inner diva, Vika Victorious, Serena Williams joins X-men and Andrea Petkovic plays soccer
Caroline Wozniacki makes Jo-Wilfried Tsonga unleash is inner diva
I was browsing Twitter last night and I found a very funny photo that was posted by Caroline Wozniacki on Twitter. She wrote “Guess who?” I actually stared at the photo for five minutes trying to figure out who it was. Ofcourse I kept getting distracted by the better half of the photo. (Yes, I swear!!) But after five minutes I figured out that it had to be Jo-Wilfried Tsonga unleashing his inner diva.
In more Caroline Wozniacki news , she was recently quizzed by the WTA tour about the Wozzy hype currently going on on the internet. It makes for a cute video. And no there is no point arguing us fans Caro! We know more about you than you do and if we say Brad Pitt is your favorite actor then you can’t change it to Johnny Depp. And no you don’t like chicken but steaks! Just watch the video and you will see what I mean.
The stats and facts about world No.1 Caroline Wozniacki keep changing as she keeps notching up the victories (she won the Family Circle Cup in Charleston at the weekend, her third title of the year). We caught up with the Dane to find out how aware she is of all that’s written about her on the internet!
The recent form of Victoria Azarenka hasn’t gone unnoticed. The beautiful Belrussian won the Sony Ericsson Open 2011 and also took home the crown at the Andalucia Tennis Experience in Marbella. The WTA Tour put her in the spotlight with a video on their YouTube Channel. Vika is currently training for the Fed Cup and they will take on Estonia.
Maria Sharapova needs to fix that serve
There has been a lot of news about Maria Sharapova lately. She is back in form but face it guys: As long as she doesn’t fix her serve she is not going anywhere fast. Her faulty serve may win her matches in the early rounds but the more she progresses in a tournament, the harder it becomes for her to win. But I have a theory: She fixes her serve and she is back in the top five of the WTA tour. Perhaps even on top, though with an on form Clijsters, a roaring Wozniacki and a possibly soon returning Serena Williams, it may prove to be tough for her to take back that number one spot. In the meantime find some photos of Maria Sharapova at the Sony Ericsson Open throughout the years at the bottom of this article. Photocredit © Chris Rogers and his Miami Tennis Photos.
Serena Williams is the Pink Panther
So guess who just got back on the practice courts. Yes, I couldn’t believe it myself either and to be frank looking at that photo, it kind of hurt my eyes. And when my eyes were adjusted I started to wonder if she was auditioning to become one of the X-men with ball bashing as a mutant power. But it really is Serena Williams back on the courts practicing after the blood cloth removal and foot injury that has kept her sidelined for a year. With her back on the training courts it won’t be long ’til we see her back in tournaments and I’ll say this: The battle for that top spot on the WTA Tour just got a lot more interesting!
Andrea Petkovic plays football
And she really did. She is currently the best German player on the WTA Tour and the Germans, and many others, believe her to be the new Steffi Graf. I would say: Wait a while and we will see an Andrea Petkovic. Who needs comparisons when you can already predict that the person is going to be great on her own and she definitely needs not to stand in Steffi Graf’s shadow. Anyway, this is Andrea Petkovic playing football at a German TV station called ZDF.
The new TennisGrandstand design
So after weeks of contemplation and slavedriving pale white nerds in dark lofts to get this design up and running, I am glad to announce that we have a new design and that we are looking forward to your feedback. You can now sign in using your Facebook account by pressing the “Connect with Facebook” on the right hand sidebar. You can also click like if you like an article on the site and we are adding Twitter to that in the near future. We tried to make the site look more current with the latest news on top. While we add more functionality and interaction to the site, please join our Facebook page that you can find at “TennisGrandstand – Unique Tennis Perspectives” and interact with TennisGrandstand fans ,receive posting updates and more.
While we are at it , please join our Twitter feed. Why? Because all the cool kids are doing it and there is no reason why you shouldn’t.
Weekly links continued…
My chief editor Manfred Wenas used to do a column called “Weekly Links” and I thought it would be interesting to integrate that into my blog posts and what I will try to do is link to interesting tennis posts that caught my eye earlier this week.
A passionate write up by Craig Hickman who popped his Sony Ericsson Open cherry by attending as an official member of the press (Craig Hickman’s Tennis Blog)
Followed by another very good article about the addition of bloggers to the media rooms these days. (Forty Deuce)
With an even funnier part II (Forty Deuce part deux)
For you German speakers, here is an interview of Andrea Petkovic for the Fed Cup. Basically she sums up the past couple of months , how she dreams of achieving the number one position on the WTA Tour but that in itself is not a goal, just a dream. What she expects in the coming months and that she thinks that social media is the coolest thing ever. (Spobox TV)
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