Small recap of Ferru's story
Most importantly, by recovering from many periods of self-doubt. The worst came in 1999, when Ferrer had a long phase when results would not come, and hard questions were being asked about his future.
It was obvious to his coach Javier Piles as he watched the young man arrive on his little motorcycle each morning that his commitment was waning. In an attempt to restore it Piles employed some controversially medieval measures.
"When he didn't want to work I would put him in a dark room, two by two metres, and I would place a lock on it so he couldn't get out," Piles is reported as saying.
"It was the room where we stored tennis balls. I would tell him that his working schedule was from 9 to 12 and that if he didn't want to work he would remain inside there, punished.
“I would give him a piece of bread and a bottle of water through the bars of a small window. After a few minutes we could hear David asking other trainers for help to get out but they wouldn't pay any attention."
Supporters of such tough punishment have occasionally described it as a metaphor for Ferrer's potential. Many knew his promise, no one had unlocked it.
And it really seemed that it was all over. A disenchanted Ferrer hung up his rackets and, almost unbelievably, took a job as a construction worker.
"I wanted to quit tennis, but didn't want to give up going out with my friends,” Ferrer explained. “So my father told me that if I needed money for fun, I should make it myself, working."
It was then that he gained a broader perspective upon the world. Seven days spent loading bricks into a wheelbarrow, from sunrise to sunset, left him exhausted and just 30 euros better off. It changed his attitude completely.
"In one week I learned to value many things,” Ferrer says. “When you are only 17 and have doubts about your future that is difficult to achieve.”
Next week Ferrer called Piles and said he wanted to get back on court the following morning. He did - at 9 am sharp.
Former #1 in FITD (Titles: 11 / US Open 2009 + MS Shanghai 2010 + MS Cincinatti 2011 champion)
also: Bangkok 2008, Sydney 2009, Acapulco 2009, Dubai 2009, Båstad 2009, Stockholm 2009, Eastbourne 2010 & Auckland 2013
Former #1 in Suicide Tennis (Titles: 2 / Won: 7)
#178 (PR#145) in TT Singles (Titles: 3 / CH Ortisei 2010, CH Bratislava 2010 & CH Mons 2012) | ATP Zagreb F 2013
#162 (PR#72) in TT Doubles (Titles: 6 / CH Rome 2011 + CH Ostrava 2011 w. vn01, CH Madrid 2012 w. Rodrigol_87, CH Sheffield 2013 w. sdtoot & CH Rome 2013 + CH Bordeaux 2013 w. Sonj1989)