David Ferrer’s Career Ends with a Loss at Madrid Open
(May 8, 2018) The career of David Ferrer came to an end on Wednesday at the Madrid Open with a loss to No. 3 seed Alexander Zverev
The 37-year-old veteran, currently ranked No. 144 in the world, made it known earlier in the year that this would be his last tournament.
Ferrer was visibly tearful serving with match point against him on Center Court in Caja Majica, “Magic Box” in English.
After losing, he left his headband on the ground near the net.
“I’ll never forget this day,” the Spaniard said, with his wife and son by his side. “I’ve been very lucky. I’ve always wanted to end my career like this. I couldn’t keep playing at the level that I wanted, but I’m very happy and very proud of my career.”
Warrior. Fighter. Inspiration.
— ATP Tour (@ATP_Tour) May 8, 2019
His career totals:
27 titles – fifth among active players, after the Big 4
733 wins in 1,111 matches – fourth best among active players
1 major final – 2013 French Open
Three Davis Cup titles with Spain
Career high world No. 3 in 2013
7 years in the Top Ten
“To all my tennis colleagues, thank you for the love and respect.”
— Tennis TV (@TennisTV) May 8, 2019
David Ferrer’s final news conference as a tennis professional
Thursday, 9 May 2019
A. ZVEREV/D. Ferrer
DAVID FERRER: My last press conference as a professional tennis player.
THE MODERATOR: Questions in Spanish.
Q. You were winning at the beginning, but you were forced to retire, right?
DAVID FERRER: No, no, not at all. I was very tired. It is true, I started the game playing well, playing with a break, but yesterday I finished the match dehydrated, physically very, very tired. And to win against Zverev you have to be in full condition, you have to be very fit, that is the reality.
And it’s a reality that physically I cannot play more than two straight matches at the level that I would like to play and that is another symptom that says that my life as a tennis player is finishing. But I have been very lucky to be able to choose the moment, the place, and to share it with all of you and with all the people that I love.
Q. What came through your mind when this tournament was saying goodbye to you?
DAVID FERRER: Well, lots of things. It’s been a very emotional night. It’s been completely different to any other important moment in my life that I have experienced previously. I was not expecting it.
The reality has been more than fiction, I never had expected a goodbye or farewell like today. I tried to play at a high level during the last year, but like a day like today, people at work tomorrow, everyone stays here to support me and that is something that I will only have half in my mind and in my heart. It’s something I will never forget.
Q. If they told you when you were 17 that you were going to live like you live today, what would you think?
DAVID FERRER: No, I would never be able to think I was going to finish my career in such a successful way and nevertheless, I have experienced a lot of things. It is the best thing that has happened in my life.
I have lived a lot of things, thanks to tennis, both tennis and personally. My child was born a few years ago. I won two Davis Cup with my colleagues, but the farewell today has been amazing.
It’s the only match that I have lost and I’m not very sad, you know. Whenever I lost a match in the past, I left very sad. Today I’m not sad (smiling). Today is a day that I want to enjoy and I’m very happy to be able to enjoy a day like today.
Q. You have received a lot of support from everyone, a lot of love and it is all related to this tennis world. Thanks to everything that you have given for the sport. I wanted to ask you what message do you leave to all the people, to all the young generations, to all the young players who dream with living a career like yours? A lot of them are inspired by you.
DAVID FERRER: Everyone has to pursue their own path and a way of working out things. In my case, at the end, what I learned is that normally you learn from defeats, from the losses, the tough moments, because you have to miss a lot of time, you have to taste defeat, you have to stand up and continue and keep on working. That was what was driving me to be the tennis player that I am today.
And to accept the tough and frustrating moments and face them and recover. And to pursue your dreams, but not one or two, or three days, but you have to do it all of your career. I would like to always be remembered for my personality, the way I am personally. I think I am a good person to the very last day of my existence.
Q. If in a couple of years your son asks you how do you play, can you show me a match?
DAVID FERRER: I wouldn’t show him today’s match. I would show him the finals in the Davis Cup because they were very emotional matches, really good matches.
When I won in Paris for example, or the match that I won against Tomas Berdych in the Prague final 2018, I think, 2008. I think it was the best moment in my career, yes.
Q. If you were to speak with the David that was 14 years old, what would today’s David say to that 14-year-old after your career?
DAVID FERRER: Well, I would tell him that just to try to be himself and to pay attention to all the important aspects in life. Many things happen. Just live with the pressure. And many things happen that you don’t realize and realize how to live with the pressure, learn about the mistakes of the past and to be able to draw a future and always try to be positive. I will tell him so many things that I would never finish.
At the end, the most important thing is that he has to learn to live the present, to know that there are tough days, good days, sad days and that’s part of life.
You are not going to be always happy and that is something normal. And once you understand that, I think that everything is much easier and smoother.
THE MODERATOR: Questions in English.
Q. You said you didn’t expect to have a big farewell like this. I’m wondering, having listened to all the tributes, what do you think your legacy in the sport is going to be?
DAVID FERRER: I don’t know exactly. I fight until last point. Maybe that. But it was a pleasure. I love this game, this sport, it’s part of my life.
I finished my career when I want to finish, the moment that I want. I am a lucky man. I have to say thanks to everybody that helped me to finish like that.
Q. I wanted to ask you in particular about Roland Garros as a tournament, what it means to you and your career and what are your happiest memories from there?
DAVID FERRER: It was a very important moment of my career because it was my first and only final of a Slam. But I have had very good moments in my career. I cannot say only that moment because in 2012 it was my best year as professional tennis player when I won Paris-Bercy.
And finally, the most happy for me is finish here tonight, finish here in Madrid with my people, my family, my close friends, everybody that helped me a lot. Not only in my tennis, in my life, so tonight for me is a special day and the moment that I think I never forget.
Q. After you announced that you were retiring at last year’s US Open, how did you spend the six months emotionally and physically?
DAVID FERRER: I didn’t expect nothing because my coach, he was be ready to be competitive this year, play the tournaments that I wanted and finally it was better because, you know, I did a very good game. I play very good tennis. And you know I finished my career better than I expect so it was a good decision to finish here in Madrid and to finish this year 37 years old and playing good tennis. As I said before, I’m a lucky man.