David Ferrer's five-set win over Janko Tipsarevic was an awesome display of perseverance and mental toughness. However, even a player as physically fit as Ferrer can feel the effects of such a grueling contest.
The epic quarterfinal match took four hours and 31 minutes to complete. It was the type of grueling, back-and-forth match Ferrer generally thrives in.
That said, this style could be the reason he routinely falls flat late in the major tournaments. The 30-year-old Spaniard has never advanced passed the semifinal round in any grand slam.
These long, hard-fought matches are admirable, but when it takes that much effort just to reach the semifinals, it is going to be tough defeating the world's elite players.
To think that he still has to fight his way through two more matches is a daunting task.
The fact that Novak Djokovic is the man waiting for him in the next round is even more worrisome.
Djokovic has beaten Ferrer four of the last five times he's faced him. Ferrer needs to have his tank full physically and emotionally to beat Djokovic, who never seems to be running on empty.
What would have been a tough haul in a perfect situation is now even more difficult to fathom. Ferrer had to like his chances when countryman and longtime nemesis Rafael Nadal withdrew from the tournament.
This still represents an awesome opportunity to advance to his first Grand Slam final, but after Thursday's marathon against Tipsarevic, I think Ferrer will fall short yet again.
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