After the tumult of the first week you’d be forgiven for thinking that apart from Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray there aren’t any other top seeds left in the men’s draw – not true.
David Ferrer, the No.4 seed at The Championships and a finalist at Roland Garros two weeks ago, is through to the quarter-finals for the second year in a row. And the unassuming, hard-working Spaniard is more than happy to fly under the radar.
''I am only focused on my next match against Del Potro or Seppi. I don't care about Novak or Murray. They are in the other draw. I will try for my best to win after tomorrow,” said Ferrer.
On Monday Ferrer dispatched Croatia’s Ivan Dodig in four sets, 6-7(3), 7-6(6), 6-1, 6-1. The match could have been over in straight sets had Ferrer not missed eight break point chances in the opening set.
“In the first set I had a lot of chance for to win the set,” Ferrer said. “He played better than me in important moments. In the second I had three or four break points down. I make it. I was focused all the match, I was positive and consistent with my game.”
Former Wimbledon champion and Croatian national hero Goran Ivanisevic was watching Dodig from the stands and he would have been proud of the way the 28-year-old served his way out of trouble on so many occasions.
Dodig continued to push Ferrer in the second set but it was the Spaniard who came out on top in the tie-break. But from there it was all Ferrer. “When I won the second set, the third and the fourth, I receive better, I play more confident with my game.”
Consistency is one of the best ways to describe Ferrer. His game doesn't have a big weapon – there’s no cannon-like serve or thumping forehand to pull out when the going gets tough. “I'm not so tall. I don't have such a large serve. I try to combine this with how I move my legs and the rest. I try to be coherent, consistent.
“Of course, every year the tennis is evolution about the big players. I know that. Well, I am [No.]4 of the world. I am happy for that, no?”
For a player whose game is better suited to clay, it’s testament to Ferrer’s work ethic that he has steadily improved his results on grass since he first played here as a 21-year old in 2003.
“Grass court I'm trying to play aggressive with myself, no? Every match I am playing better with my game. I am with more confidence. Now I am quarter-final. Now I would like to rest, relax, because I had a little bit physic problems.”
An ankle injury sustained during the first round has been causing Ferrer some discomfort but he insists that he will play through the pain. The Spaniard will now prepare for a match-up with No.8 seed Juan Martin del Potro or the No.23 seed Andreas Seppi – two players who Ferrer has a strong record against.
“With Del Potro, he's a very great player. It's going to be difficult, sure. I need to play my best tennis for to win Del Potro. And in grass court I think is more difficult. He play better than me in grass court. With Seppi, he's playing very good in grass court. He play very flat with his shots. I need to play very consistent all the match and to be good physic, no?”
20:24...But boy, it was a barrow-load of fun. I hope you enjoyed it even half as much as we did. Thank you for all your messages throughout, you've been the glue holding us together as the edges frayed amid the madness. Now if you'll excuse me, it's time for us Brits to raise a toast to Andy Murray and Fred Perry. British sporting legends both.
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