David Ferrer - A Silent Icon
David Ferrer was knocked out 6-4, 6-1 on Wednesday night in Madrid, ending the Spaniard's legendary career that saw him reach No. 3 in the ATP Rankings and win 27 tour-level titles, including 15 on his favorite surface, clay.
It couldn't have been a better place for Ferrer to end his career, in his Spanish homeland and not a long way away from his birthplace in Alicante. With that in mind, it's understandable that Ferrer had a favorable home crowd. And rightly so, as his professional career, which started in 2000, involved 27 career singles titles, two Australian Open Semi-Finals, two US Open Semi-Finals, two Wimbledon Quarter Finals and Final at Roland Garros.
However, It's not Ferrer's results that have made him a silent icon amongst Tennis fans. Ferrer will be remembered for being one of the more dogged and fit players on the tour, and he won a lot of his matches with consistent baseline play, fitness, determination and will power. Although he does not possess a particularly powerful game like many of his opponents, his ability to keep the ball deep under extreme pressure, time and time again has allowed him to be successful on all surfaces, especially on clay and hard courts.
Darren Cahill has said that Ferrer and Novak Djokovic are the two best returners in the men's game, even more so than former dominant return specialist Agassi, who Cahill previously regarded as the best return specialist in the history of men's tennis. In 2007, Roger Federer regarded Ferrer as the best returner in the men's game. This is a part of his game that has gone unnoticed, as players and fans alike generally look at other players as better returners.
At a personal level, Ferrer's reputation on the tour humble and shy. He is rarely involved in any controversy throughout his career. Calm and disciplined, he is admired for his tenacity and competitiveness on the court and will always be remembered more so for his attitude, competitiveness, and grittiness on both the training and the match court.