Why did Ferrero become an "average player" ? - MensTennisForums.com
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post #1 of 28 (permalink) Old 01-02-2009, 01:10 PM Thread Starter
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Why did Ferrero become an "average player" ?

Sorry for that, but I'm starting this thread to get an answer to a question I don't have enough information to answer myself :

Why did Ferrero become an "average player" ?

I remember Ferrero between 2000 and 2003 : he was a "top-player" in that time, especially on clay.

But since then he has totally lost his credit.

Hewitt and Roddick are still considered as top-players (Hewitt plays less than before and has more injuries, but if you look at his results when he played in 2007, they were those of a top-10 player).

Safin is a very special case.

But Ferrero ?

I'd be glad if some "people who know" can tell me why his carreer went that way ?

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post #2 of 28 (permalink) Old 01-02-2009, 01:15 PM
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Re: Why did Ferrero become an "average player" ?

If you watched tennis during this time, then you should have your own views as to what happened.

The game evolves, some players reach their peak earlier than others. Ferrero lost a little speed after his illness in 2004, players were hitting just as hard as he was when he was near the top of the game.

Roddick had the huge forehand in 2003 when he went on that big tear in addition to the serve, but the players got used to his forehand and while it was massive then, it's not really massive now, but he has the serve to back him up, which Ferrero doesn't.

On Nadal bumping him on the changeover, Rosol said: "It's ok, he wanted to take my concentration; I knew he would try something".


Wilander on Dimitrov - "He has mind set on imitating Federer and yes it looks good. But he has no idea what to do on the court".

Quote:
Originally Posted by Filo V. View Post
I definitely would have preferred Gaba winning as he needs the points much more, but Jan would have beaten him anyway. I expect Hajek to destroy Machado, like 6-1 6-2.
Machado wins 6-2 6-1
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post #3 of 28 (permalink) Old 01-02-2009, 01:17 PM
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Re: Why did Ferrero become an "average player" ?

If I remember correctly, he had a bad case of chicken pox, and then some injuries. Had found it difficult to get back to his peak level after that.
Also, I remember him saying he didn't feel like a "real" #1 being there only for a short while. Prolly found it difficult to have that same motivation after scaling the rankings and then to peak there for a short while.
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post #4 of 28 (permalink) Old 01-02-2009, 01:18 PM
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Re: Why did Ferrero become an "average player" ?

I think he just burnt himself out after the 2003 season, plus the illness.

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post #5 of 28 (permalink) Old 01-02-2009, 01:20 PM
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Re: Why did Ferrero become an "average player" ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by wilmar View Post
If I remember correctly, he had a bad case of chicken pox, and then some injuries. Had found it difficult to get back to his peak level after that.
Also, I remember him saying he didn't feel like a "real" #1 being there only for a short while. Prolly found it difficult to have that same motivation after scaling the rankings and then to peak there for a short while.
Yes, 2004 was where he had the chicken pox in the early part of the season and then had niggling problems throughout the year. He lost to Andreev at RG and he really didn't look like himself.

But the others caught up to him and he wasn't able to adapt within his game to changes in the game, it's not like he had great variation and he didn't have a massive serve like Roddick to help him either.

On Nadal bumping him on the changeover, Rosol said: "It's ok, he wanted to take my concentration; I knew he would try something".


Wilander on Dimitrov - "He has mind set on imitating Federer and yes it looks good. But he has no idea what to do on the court".

Quote:
Originally Posted by Filo V. View Post
I definitely would have preferred Gaba winning as he needs the points much more, but Jan would have beaten him anyway. I expect Hajek to destroy Machado, like 6-1 6-2.
Machado wins 6-2 6-1

Last edited by Action Jackson; 01-02-2009 at 01:44 PM.
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post #6 of 28 (permalink) Old 01-02-2009, 01:41 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Why did Ferrero become an "average player" ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Action Jackson View Post
If you watched tennis during this time, then you should have your own views as to what happened.

The game evolves, some players reach their peak earlier than others. Ferrero lost a little speed after his illness in 2004, players were hitting just as hard as he was when he was near the top of the game.

Roddick had the huge forehand in 2003 when he went on that big tear in addition to the serve, but the players got used to his forehand and while it was massive then, it's not really massive now, but he has the serve to back him up, which Ferrero doesn't.
Yes I watched tennis in that time, but not as much as now (I'v watched tennis from the beginning of the 80's but I was more boring or busy in the end of the 90's and the beginning of the 2000's), then I have to confess that it's a little bit difficult for me to remember.

Then I must admit the answer is not clear at all for me.

I remember a player with a very solid game, bringing back every ball, and with a good lift on clay.
Imo he looked very near to Kuerten on clay for instance.

But then he still is this kind of player, but not at all as effective.

And it's difficult for me to imagine that the game has changed so much in 2004. I would be interested in more information about that (rackets ? balls ?), but anyway, you don't have to answer every one of my interrogations.

Anyway, there were several different answers, and this is maybe not very clear for some other people either,

then I'm looking forward to more precisions if possible

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post #7 of 28 (permalink) Old 01-02-2009, 01:42 PM
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Re: Why did Ferrero become an "average player" ?

He was always been a very good player rather than a great one he had sucess during a weak time for mens tennis.

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post #8 of 28 (permalink) Old 01-02-2009, 01:52 PM
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Re: Why did Ferrero become an "average player" ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by duong View Post
Yes I watched tennis in that time, but not as much as now (I'v watched tennis from the beginning of the 80's but I was more boring or busy in the end of the 90's and the beginning of the 2000's), then I have to confess that it's a little bit difficult for me to remember.
That makes sense.

Then I must admit the answer is not clear at all for me.

Quote:
I remember a player with a very solid game, bringing back every ball, and with a good lift on clay. Imo he looked very near to Kuerten on clay for instance.

But then he still is this kind of player, but not at all as effective.
Yes, he hit the ball hard and deep off both sides, but he was quicker then, it's not exactly difficult to work out for a guy who relies so much on his footspeed, that having an illness, then trying to get back to the same condition he was previously, and having niggles took the edge off his speed, therefore while he is still fast around the court, he isn't as quick as he was, and his shots don't have the same penetration. In addition he played a lot of tournaments as Kolya said in those 3 years and the body shut down for a while.

One works into the other.


Quote:
And it's difficult for me to imagine that the game has changed so much in 2004. I would be interested in more information about that (rackets ? balls ?), but anyway, you don't have to answer every one of my interrogations.
Racquets and string technology are in constant evolution, because that's how technical it is. Like I said about Roddick, the same context applies to Ferrero, both had big weapons that were better than the others at the time, but it didn't last very long, as the other players caught up.

Look at Jim Courier and then look at Ferrero, then you can see the similarities. Both were at the top for a short period of time, except Courier was more successful, when the other players caught up to them, they weren't able to adjust, while being very good players and having the odd big win, they weren't what they were.

Evolution.

On Nadal bumping him on the changeover, Rosol said: "It's ok, he wanted to take my concentration; I knew he would try something".


Wilander on Dimitrov - "He has mind set on imitating Federer and yes it looks good. But he has no idea what to do on the court".

Quote:
Originally Posted by Filo V. View Post
I definitely would have preferred Gaba winning as he needs the points much more, but Jan would have beaten him anyway. I expect Hajek to destroy Machado, like 6-1 6-2.
Machado wins 6-2 6-1
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post #9 of 28 (permalink) Old 01-02-2009, 02:31 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Why did Ferrero become an "average player" ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Action Jackson View Post
Racquets and string technology are in constant evolution, because that's how technical it is. Like I said about Roddick, the same context applies to Ferrero, both had big weapons that were better than the others at the time, but it didn't last very long, as the other players caught up.

Look at Jim Courier and then look at Ferrero, then you can see the similarities. Both were at the top for a short period of time, except Courier was more successful, when the other players caught up to them, they weren't able to adjust, while being very good players and having the odd big win, they weren't what they were.

Evolution.
Thanks for your answer.

The cases of players being in the very-top and then becoming quite "anonymous" are not very common though. If the evolution of the game was so quick, these cases would happen more often.

I will take in mind the idea that, as for Courier the key was rather mental (that's what I remember ... I sometimes think that he suffered more from Sampras than Agassi did), for Ferrero, the key is rather the fact that he lost his speed (and maybe power ?) : it's true that in that time, his speed and ability to bring back every ball were real strengths in my memories.

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post #10 of 28 (permalink) Old 01-02-2009, 02:43 PM
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Re: Why did Ferrero become an "average player" ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by duong View Post
Thanks for your answer.

The cases of players being in the very-top and then becoming quite "anonymous" are not very common though. If the evolution of the game was so quick, these cases would happen more often.

I will take in mind the idea that, as for Courier the key was rather mental (that's what I remember ... I sometimes think that he suffered more from Sampras than Agassi did), for Ferrero, the key is rather the fact that he lost his speed (and maybe power ?) : it's true that in that time, his speed and ability to bring back every ball were real strengths in my memories.
There haven't been that many players ranked number 1 have there? You have to look at the respective playing styles of them, Courier and Ferrero were quite physical and Wilander was mental, then others were on transition nature and for varying reasons.

It was mental for Ferrero as well, the mental side is the biggest part of the game at pro level. Once the confidence is lost, it's very hard to get back, considering Ferrero wasn't as naturally gifted as some. The problem for these types of players with tough physical games, like any individual they have a particular point, they are going to reach and then once they have reached that point, then their decline tends to be quicker than say a player like Edberg.

On Nadal bumping him on the changeover, Rosol said: "It's ok, he wanted to take my concentration; I knew he would try something".


Wilander on Dimitrov - "He has mind set on imitating Federer and yes it looks good. But he has no idea what to do on the court".

Quote:
Originally Posted by Filo V. View Post
I definitely would have preferred Gaba winning as he needs the points much more, but Jan would have beaten him anyway. I expect Hajek to destroy Machado, like 6-1 6-2.
Machado wins 6-2 6-1
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post #11 of 28 (permalink) Old 01-02-2009, 02:50 PM
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Re: Why did Ferrero become an "average player" ?

A combination of injuries/illness throwing him off his stride and the fact that the game naturally caught up with him, imo.
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post #12 of 28 (permalink) Old 01-02-2009, 02:54 PM
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Re: Why did Ferrero become an "average player" ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by duong View Post
Thanks for your answer.

The cases of players being in the very-top and then becoming quite "anonymous" are not very common though. If the evolution of the game was so quick, these cases would happen more often.
No there a so few cases because most players are able to evolute themselves along with the evolution of the game. But Fererro couldn't do this because his strengths were precisely the aspects in which the game evoluted (court speed, consistency).

In other words: When you have a big service, it is as hard as most players to improve your court speed, but when your strength is courtspeed it is harder to get even faster. For Usain Bolt it is harder to improve his best 100meter time with a second, then for me.
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post #13 of 28 (permalink) Old 01-02-2009, 03:01 PM
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Re: Why did Ferrero become an "average player" ?

players have so much in the tank for an entire career

and JCF blew all of his in one year - 2003
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post #14 of 28 (permalink) Old 01-02-2009, 03:11 PM
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Re: Why did Ferrero become an "average player" ?

I think he has never been a top player in his head. Mentally, I've always found him weak. He lacks self-confidence.

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post #15 of 28 (permalink) Old 01-02-2009, 03:42 PM
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Re: Why did Ferrero become an "average player" ?

I may be biased, but I don't think his game has been that physical...his strength in his prime was to take the ball early and control the rallies with his FH, moving the opponent from side to side and attack. Although his primary strength shone on clay, his tennis has been adoptable for fast surfaces as well (He started playing tennis on hard courts as a child). His serve has never been massive, but he has a very reliable kick second serve that has won him many points (In 2003, he was No. 1 on the second serve points won table on the ATP stats, and No.2 on first serve points won after Roddick). Unlike some players whose main weapon is their FH, his BH is no liability either.

Anyway, 2004 was annus horribilis for him....the first sign of physical trouble started during AO where he had a back and abductor problems, the latter of which hampered his movement during SF against Federer (Ferrero's both thighs were heavily taped.) Then chicken pox hit in March, followed by a minor wrist injury and a rib injury just a few weeks before Roland Garros where he was the defending champion.
I think all those problems stemmed from too much tennis in 2003. Reaching two slam finals and winning one, playing his third Tennis Masters Cup, and reaching the Davis Cup final in which he lost to Hewitt and Philippousis in five sets on Australian grass in December.

And I think he made mistakes by returning to court too early after the illness and then after the rib injury, which I suspect was a main reason for his FH becoming less potent than it once was. Apparently his coach and entourage all told him to withdraw from RG that year, but he insisted on playing. Anybody who watched him play that year would know that he was in no shape for playing competitive tennis and that it was a near miracle that he won the first round against Haas. Ferrero couldn't even raise his arm properly to serve.

Then he changed his racket from Prince to Head in the autumn of 2004, and IMHO that was not the right time to make such a change because I think he still hadn't fully recovered from the injuries, which also affected his footwork. (He officially returned to Prince in 2007)

Some signs of his return to form could be seen from 2006, and I think he has been slowly getting back to where he once was. Sure he's not getting any younger, and he might not have fully regained confidence, but he was actually playing some good tennis in 2008 although another abductor injury hit him in April and sidelined him for three months from June.

I just hope he will have an injury free season this year, and, if possible, that he will be able to win a title again....
Quote:
Originally Posted by wilmar View Post
Also, I remember him saying he didn't feel like a "real" #1 being there only for a short while. Prolly found it difficult to have that same motivation after scaling the rankings and then to peak there for a short while.
When and where did he say that? I don't think I've read/heard that kind of remarks by him.

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