BARCELONA, April 24, 2017
Juan Carlos Ferrero returned to the ATP World Tour at the Barcelona Open Banc Sabadell on Monday, competing in his first professional match since 2012. The former singles world no. 1 teamed up with Pablo Carreno-Busta in the opening round of the doubles competition.
In front of a packed Court 1 at the Real Tenis Club de Barcelona, the two Spaniards were close to upset the experienced team of Marcin Matkowski from Poland and Canadian veteran Daniel Nestor but eventually lost 2-6, 7-5, 7-10.
Ferrero and Carreno-Busta, who practices at the JC Ferrero Equelite Sports Academy in Villena, were a break down in each set, saved the first match point in the second frame and pushed the match the distance. Matkowski and Nestor, however, sealed victory after one hour and 21 minutes.
“Today’s match was a special gift for me,” Ferrero told afterwards. “To relive the atmosphere on the court and the the adrenaline during the match is giving you a happy feeling.”
How did the idea come about? Ferrero himself answered the question: “It started as a joke,” he started laughing.
The 2003 Roland Garros champion played his last match at the 2012 Valencia Open, where he lost in the opening round of the singles competition to Nicolas Almagro and in the semi-finals of the doubles alongside David Ferrer. Ferrero captured 16 career titles and earned a total prize money of almost $14 million.
“I tried to convince him and in the end we are here,” Carreno-Busta added, who will start his Barcelona campaign in singles against Andreas Seppi on Tuesday.
Photo Gallery Day 1 (by Brigitte Urban):