As consistently as he's been performing the past few years, it's a safe bet to book David Ferrer for a semifinal spot at the 2013 French Open.
But will he be able to take it a step further and reach the first—and quite possibly, only—Grand Slam final of his career?
The odds are better than they've ever been for the Spanish veteran, currently ranked No. 5 in the world and seeded fourth at Roland Garros, due to the pre-tournament withdrawal of No. 2 Andy Murray.
While the bump up in the seedings definitely has some perks, perhaps nothing has been more beneficial for Ferrer than being in the opposite half of the men's draw from Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal, who are likely to meet in a blockbuster semifinal. Ferrer happens to have a career head-to-head combined record of 9-29 against the both of them.
Of course, too, Ferrer has his own potential blockbuster semifinal to contend with because he's drawn to face Roger Federer in the final four. And Federer is coming off a terrific run at the Masters 1000 event in Rome, where he made the final before falling to Nadal in the last big French Open warm-up event.
And Ferrer can't exactly count on any previous wins for dealing with Federer: He's lost all 14 matches he's played against the Swiss great.
But Ferrer can take solace in his own Rome tournament play. For the second week in a row, he took a set from Nadal, breaking a streak of the years-long streak of failing to accomplish that task on clay.
Taking a set from Nadal on clay at this point of his dominant season indicates Ferrer is playing well, if not better than ever, a level he'll be looking to continue in Paris.
Will it pay off in a Grand Slam, though? With solid play the past few weeks and the luck of the draw on his side, Ferrer could be in store for a career-defining moment.
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