Ferrer in 3, 4 max.
Ferrer in 3 sets or 4. Depends how bad he's playing
Ferrer really is "the gatekeeper" separating mugs from talent, even more than he is the vulture, that so many people struggle with him is because the skill level is so pathetic nowadays. Instead of trying to beat him with tennis, these mugs try to outwork him, and the only guy capable of that is the freak of Mallorca.
While I agree with the bolded, I am not so sure about the rest. I believe the main reason Lenders and Co. can't stand Ferrer is not because he can't beat the top 3 (especially in big events) but because he has proven for the past few years that he is indeed 'the best of the rest' rather than one of their flashy faves like Berdych or Tsonga. Obviously if one of these more powerful and, yes, talented players wakes up on the right side of the bed and has the stars align for him perfectly that day, he can blow Pics off the court regardless of what the Spaniard does. But the fact is most of these guys simply lack the other necessary qualities like discipline, patience and smarts that he has in abundance.
The irony is that I generally prefer skilled shotmaking players myself but that doesn't blind me to their faults. Other than JMDP who at least has a slam to his name, why should any of the rest of the second-tier guys command more of my respect than Ferrer? So what if Berdych and Tsonga have beaten Federer or Nadal en route to a slam final? They still lost (often dismally) when they got there. The fact is that many players fail to live up to their full potential; some even seem intent on squandering it (e.g. Gulbis). Pics, on the other hand, has not only made the most of his admittedly limited ability but far exceeded any expectations that were ever had of him at the outset in terms of what he could accomplish in his career overall. Even now, no one here is proclaiming him a future no. 1 and multiple slam winner
Whatever criticisms I have against any player, be they objective or subjective, one thing I will never claim is that he is 'overranked' or doesn't 'deserve' to be in a particular spot on the rankings. That is the weakest and most pathetic argument that can be levelled against any professional athlete IMO, particularly if he has been in or around the same place for a sustained period like Ferrer. Anyway, I could keep on going in this vein but I feel like I'm preaching to the converted whereas my words won't have any impact on the few dedicated haters
Nevertheless, once again we have Ferrer facing a younger, talented player who's 'supposed' to be better than him and certainly entered the tour with more hype... Yet, barring some extraordinary circumstance, the final outcome of this match is in very little (if any) doubt.