MADRID, May 5, 2016
David Ferrer has started his 2016 clay court season at the Mutua Madrid Open with a first round victory over fellow Spaniard Guillermo Garcia-López, rallying 3-6, 6-1, 6-2. In Wednesday’s second round match, he also had to go distance when the world number nine battled past US-American Denis Kudla 6-4, 4-6, 6-4, being more than two hours on the court.
“All the opponents are tough. It’s been an intense match, especially the third set. Maybe in the second set instead of going for the match I was just waiting for him to maybe miss a little bit more his first serve and then just go in. At 5-4, I was playing really badly and that’s why he just got more into the match and it was quite tough for me,” Ferrer was relieved aftewards.
The 34-year-old will now take on Tomas Berdych for a third round clash on Thursday. It’s the first encounter between two top 10-players in Madrid this week. Ferrer lost his last seven matches against top 10-opponents.
Yet, his head to head record record against eighth favourite Berdych is positive, leading 8-5. The last meeting between the two took place in the final of the Exxon Mobil Open in Doha in 2015. Ferrer won in straight sets.
“Of course right now I’m tired It’s been a tough match and it’s never easy. That’s the way it is,” Ferrer told on Wednesday evening. “Now I’ll try to recover. I’ll try to recover myself for tomorrow because I have to give 100% to be able to have options and be able to win the match.”
Ferrer withdrew from the ATP Masters 1000 event in Monte Carlo due to a calf injury but believes to be well prepared against his Czech opponent.
“I have to play this match when I have to play it. At the end of the day, all the players are great and I can’t do anything else. Tomas Berdych is a great player. I made it to the third round and that’s the most important thing. I really don’t think about anything else. I have to play very well against him,” Ferrer is looking forward to the match.
“I will have to play aggressively and need a good first serve percentage. Whenever I miss my first serve he’s going to step in, and with this court it’s very difficult to defend. With the altitude we have here, the short players like me feel it a lot and we have to strike first.
I really don’t know what my level is right now. First day I played at really high level first and second set, and today I haven’t played so well. I hope to have good feelings and have a good match against Tomas.”
The Spanish veteran also has a look at the Next Generation stars on the tour.
“Luckily we have been able to play a lot of years, but right now we have a good generation. Kyrgios is a really good player. Paulo Carreño is also playing great again. Roberto Bautista is a little bit older but playing well and stepping up, and that’s very important. Also, Coric is a player to follow. I would say that from the players that are playing regularly, we have Kyrgios, which has a lot of potential,” he said.
Ferrer is also pleased with his personal life being one of quite a lot of players, who recently got married.
“Of course it’s always important to feel well in your personal life. Personally I’m fine but it didn’t go so well in professional life. Murray, Djokovic, Almagro and Feliciano got married as well but we don’t put any pressure on Rafa. He has to choose his way. We don’t even talk about that.”