French Open 2012: David Ferrer Emerges as Legitimate Threat to Win Major Title
It's a conversation that's been dominated by Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer in recent years, and rightfully so. That terrific trio has combined to win all but one of the major championships over the past six years.
If anybody has a chance to steal their thunder in Paris, it's Ferrer. His play seems to get stronger with each passing round. He eliminated Lukas Lacko and Benoit Paire in the first two rounds as expected, but it's really his play since then that has turned him into a contender.
Ferrer crushed No. 27 seed Mikhail Youzhny, who was coming off a rock-solid victory over Robin Haase, in third round. He only dropped four games in three sets, breaking Youzhny a total of seven times in the match.
Just when it seemed like Ferrer had shown off his most dazzling play, he backed it up with another big win over No. 20 seed Marcel Granollers. The Spaniard didn't lose a single game in the third set en route to another easy victory.
He has reached the quarterfinals without dropping a single set. More impressively, none of his opponents have won more than four games in any set so far. It's tough to do much better than that, especially with the field depth in today's game.
Does Ferrer have a chance at the French Open?
Ferrer's game actually matches the clay surface well, making it a surprise he has never gone beyond the quarterfinals. He has a reliable first serve, has good touch around the net and has the movement necessary to chase down shots.
His great play has allowed him to get off the court quickly, which means he should have plenty of energy left for the remaining matches. With a tough road ahead, he'll need every last bit of it if he wants to shock the tennis world.
If he can maintain his current form, it's impossible to count him out. He's one of the best players on tour to never win a Grand Slam tournament and, at 30, he's running out of time. He needs to seize his opportunities.
So while most of the focus will remain on Djokovic going for the "Nole Slam," Nadal looking for his seventh French Open title and Federer trying to recapture his past glory, don't forget about Ferrer.
He's set himself up perfectly to give those champions a run for their money.
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