With a three-set win over friend and compatriot Juan-Carlos Ferrero in Shanghai, David Ferrer has confirmed his place in the World Tour Finals for the third time in his career.
Ferrer needed to reach the quarterfinals of the Shanghai Rolex Masters and had to see fellow Spaniard, Nicolas Almagro, lose against Andy Roddick to ensure his passage to London. And that is exactly what happened.
Judging from his performance, Ferrer was determined to leave blood, sweat and tears on the court rather than lose his chance: He was a set and a break down, and faced match points before fighting back against an increasingly drained Ferrero.
Yet in an amusing on-court interview, it became clear that Ferrer was unaware the numbers were stacked in his favor: “Yes? I did not know...Thanks for this news!”
Once the news of his qualification for London had sunk in, the world number five was more composed. This marks the second consecutive year he made the year-end championships.
“This is what I have been fighting for all year. I’ve had a great season with a lot of wins and I can’t wait to return to London. It is such a great event and it is so special to be among the top eight players once again. The atmosphere is incredible there.”
He joins another Spaniard, Rafael Nadal, along with Novak Djokovic, Andy Murray and Roger Federer at the end of November for the world’s biggest indoor tennis event. But while the World Tour Finals mark the climax of the ATP year, Ferrer and Nadal will quickly return home to join Spain’s campaign for Davis Cup victory in the first week of December.
Almagro, ranked nine in the race to London, still has some work to do if he is to become the third Spaniard to join what would be his first season-ending tournament.
He is scheduled to play in Valencia and Paris and will need to win good points to make up ground on Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Mardy Fish—though both lost in Round 2 in Shanghai. If that was not enough, he needs to shake off Gilles Simon and Alexandr Dolgopolov, who still have a chance to qualify.
Simon has been making a strong late run for qualification, but fell in an enthralling third-round three-setter against Australian Matthew Ebden. Dolgopolov has reached his first Masters quarterfinal and will play another young rising star enjoying his first Masters quarter, Kei Nishikori.
Qualified for London
1. Novak Djokovic, 13,295 points
2. Rafael Nadal 9,500 points
3. Andy Murray 6,290points
4. Roger Federer 5,185 points
5. David Ferrer 3,880 points
Still to Qualify
6. Tomas Berdych 2,940 points (Scheduled to play Paris)
7. Mardy Fish 2,875 points (Scheduled to play Basel, Paris)
8. Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 2,790 points (Scheduled to play Vienna, Valencia, Paris)
9. Nicolas Almagro 2,370 points (Scheduled to play Valencia, Paris)
10. Gilles Simon 2,155 points (Scheduled to play St Petersburg, Paris)
Janko Tipsarevic 2,040 points (Scheduled to play Moscow, St Petersburg, Paris)
Alexandr Dolgopolov 1,835 points (Scheduled to play Moscow, St Petersburg, Paris)