Mens Tennis Forums banner
1 - 20 of 43 Posts

28,276 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
This is where we can post articles or news clippings from back in the day ;)

I have a few to start us off :)

Spain's new hero - From
Victory puts Ferrero in the spotlight

Posted: Sunday December 10, 2000 3:08 PM

BARCELONA (Reuters) -- Spain crowned a new King Juan Carlos on Sunday as they won the Davis Cup for the first time in their history with victory over Australia in front of a 14,000 full house in Barcelona.

Juan Carlos Ferrero clinched the point Spain needed to wrap up the final with a remarkable display of skill and nerve in a 6-2, 7-6, 4-6, 6-4 win against Lleyton Hewitt.

It was his fifth win out of five Davis Cup matches and his reward was a warm handshake from the other Juan Carlos, the King of Spain, who was in attendance throughout the final day's play.

"I've met the King before but it was great to do it today," said Ferrero. "I felt spectacularly good."

The 20-year-old Spaniard, in his first season of Davis Cup tennis, was a controversial choice for the final against the defending champions Australia.

Alex Corretja had played opening day singles for Spain in every tie this season, winning his games against Italy, Russia and the United States in impressive form.

Coach Javier Duarte decided to drop the world number eight for the start of the match on Friday, though, in order to play Albert Costa against Lleyton Hewitt and Ferrero against Pat Rafter.

Costa's five-set defeat to Hewitt in the first game put enormous pressure on Ferrero to go out and keep his side in contention with a win over Rafter.

The young Spaniard lost the first set but then powered back to beat Rafter, who was forced to retire with cramp when on the brink of defeat in the fourth set.

After Corretja and Juan Balcells had edged Spain ahead in the doubles, Ferrero came out again on Sunday and was outstanding to beat Hewitt and secure an historic win for his country.

"It's fantastic," said Ferrero. "There was a lot of tension but I played the game like any other. It was wonderful to get that winning point."

Australian coach John Newcombe paid a warm tribute to the man who handed his dream of a successful defence of the Davis Cup.

"Towards the end of the fourth set Ferrero was really going for his shots," said Newcombe. "He was hitting the ball so well I wasn't even thinking about who won the point."

Newcombe forecast the future would see Hewitt and Ferrero playing many other big matches against one another.

"Today was amazing because we saw two players of the future of tennis," said Newcombe.

"They're going to be around for the next eight to 10 years playing huge matches against each other and tennis will be better for it."

For Duarte, whose gamble on Ferrero paid off in grand style, the youngster was simply superb.

"He played wonderfully well at the start of the game and might have won it in straight sets," said Duarte.

"Then in the fourth he played like a dream. He was great."

Ferrero, well known in Spain as a Real Madrid fan, also had the unique satisfaction of winning applause from the crowd at Barcelona's Nou Camp stadium when the result was read out over the tannoy.

"I'm delighted the Camp Nou were cheering," said Ferrero. "It doesn't matter that I'm a Real fan."

.:S P A N I S H M O S Q U I T O:.

28,276 Posts
Discussion Starter · #2 ·

The Mosquito: Juan Carlos Ferrero by Cindy Shmerler
From the June 2001 issue of TENNIS

Increíble. It’s a word that rolls off the tongue of Juan Carlos Ferrero with the same ease that he rolls topspin forehand passing shots beyond the racquets of net-rushing opponents. 'We use it a lot in Spain,' the 21-year-old says of the Spanish word that means incredible and unbelievable and everything in between. 'We all say it. And right now, I really mean it.'

To Ferrero, life is increíble, his tennis is increíble, his bright blue Porsche 911 is increíble, and, most especially, Spain’s victory over Australia in last year’s Davis Cup final was increíble.

'I was only one year in the Davis Cup and suddenly we are in the final,' says Ferrero, who led Spain to its first-ever Cup championship with victories over both Patrick Rafter and Lleyton Hewitt. 'Winning my first Davis Cup final at the age of 20, in front of 14,000 people yelling ‘Ferrero, Ferrero’ and ‘Spain, Spain,’ how could this be anything but increíble?'

The wiry Ferrero stretches some 160 pounds over his 6-foot frame, with a mat of frosted blond hair hovering over an angular, friendly face. So far, he’s earned two nicknames from his countrymen: 'Chavalito,' which means little kid, and 'Mosquito,' because of his wiry, spindly build. Yet for all his speed, Ferrero says he never imagined winning mountains of money or hoisting Davis Cup trophies. Indeed, he grew up in Onteniente, a small town to the southwest of Valencia, without a single tennis poster gracing his bedroom wall. He does, however, remember turning on the TV and watching Boris Becker and Stefan Edberg play the Wimbledon finals of 1988 and ’89. Asked if he ever saw Bjorn Borg, Ferrero answers, 'Just a few seconds on film. He won Wimbledon a couple of times?' (Five in a row, but who’s counting?)

Not even after winning his first junior tournament, in Valencia at age 9, or reaching the French Open junior final, in 1998, did Ferrero honestly believe there might be greatness in his future. 'Three years ago, I was so negative because I didn’t have any experience. I never dreamed of being a star,' he says. 'I figured if I work hard and make good performances, then one day, maybe . . . .'

Ferrero’s carousel began to spin in 1999, when he traded success on the Spanish Satellite circuit for his first ATP semifinal in Casablanca. By the time the season was over, he’d leapfrogged from No. 345 in the world to No. 43, the biggest jump into the Top 50 of anyone on tour that year.

Ferrero soon proved himself worthy of inclusion in the ATP’s ballyhooed 'New Balls, Please' ad campaign featuring a group of precocious youngsters that also included Hewitt, Gustavo Kuerten, Roger Federer, and Marat Safin. Ferrero reached the final in Dubai, then stopped two Grand Slam champions, Rafter and Carlos Moya, en route to the semis in Scottsdale. Both were hard-court events.

A Spaniard comfy on hard courts?

Turns out that Ferrero was tennis-reared in the town of Villena, which 10 years ago had just eight courts -- all hard (it has since added five clay courts). Part of his formative tennis education also included working out briefly with Safin, who’d relocated from Moscow to Valencia when he was a teenager.

'The first time I ever saw him [Ferrero] play was against Moya in Barcelona in ’99,' says Albert Costa, a Davis Cup teammate. 'Moya had just reached No. 1, but Ferrero was playing without any respect. It was just as if he was practicing. He wasn’t nervous at all. At that point, I thought, ‘Whew, he’s going to be good.’'

And not just on hard courts.

After losing in the first round of Roland Garros qualifying in 1999, Ferrero raced all the way to the semis in 2000. Along the way he beat Slava Dosedel (1-6, 2-6, 6-2, 6-4, 6-4), Mark Philippoussis (who’d knocked off Pete Sampras) and countryman Alex Corretja before finally falling to eventual champion Kuerten, 7-5, 4-6, 2-6, 6-4, 6-3. That effort propelled Ferrero into the No. 7 spot, and he spent the rest of the season flitting around the Top 10. 'I played so many good matches at Roland Garros,' says Ferrero, 'but the fifth set against Dosedel was the best. That match helped me to believe in myself.'

This year, he’ll need that belief system all the more.

'The French Open, it’s a very important tournament for me, because it’s a Grand Slam and it’s on clay,' Ferrero says. 'I know people expect me to do well. But it’s such a difficult tournament because the matches are so long. I’m just 21 years old. I can’t expect everything to happen so soon.'

Certainly, Ferrero could never have expected the kind of attention he got following his Davis Cup success. Last spring in his Cup debut, he crushed Yevgeny Kafelnikov 6-2, 6-2, 6-2 and Safin (in a dead rubber) 6-0, 6-3 to lead Spain into the semis against the U.S. After beating Kafelnikov, Ferrero lifted a hand and blew a kiss skyward, a tribute to his mother, Rosario, who died of cancer five years ago. Ferrero then took to the bench and cheered as Corretja, Costa, and Juan Balcells ousted the U.S. to advance to the Cup final for a third time.

But with Corretja’s spotty career record against the Aussies, and his recent struggles fresh in their minds, Spain’s coaches decided to put Ferrero into the lineup for the championship tie, which was played indoors on red clay in Barcelona. After Hewitt beat Costa in the first match, Ferrero took a deep breath and proceeded to wear down Rafter, leading 6-7 (4-7), 7-6 (7-4), 6-2, 3-1 before Rafter retired after cramping.

When the Balcells-Corretja team surprised Sandon Stolle and Mark Woodforde in the doubles, Ferrero knew it was up to him to close the deal. Minutes before his match against Hewitt, Ferrero stood in the locker room, shaking.

'We all knew how nervous he was,' says Balcells, who, together with Corretja, tried to calm Ferrero’s nerves. 'We kept talking to him, trying to give him advice. We were telling him it was a regular match, nothing special. We were lying, of course, but we had to say something.'

'I was nervous,' Ferrero admits. 'I knew this was the most important match of my life. I had to do well. Everyone in Spain was looking at me -- even the King and Queen. But after two games, the nerves went away and I just played.'

Did he ever.

Ferrero beat Hewitt 6-2, 7-6 (7-5), 4-6, 6-4. Before he could say olé, Ferrero found himself at the bottom of a heap of celebrating Spaniards. That night, at the Barcelona discothèque Luz de Gas (Gaslight), the usually reserved Ferrero did a striptease of sorts, yanking off his shirt to the fevered beat of fellow revelers.

'After the Davis Cup, it was completely crazy,' he says. 'When I walk on the street or when I go in some restaurants, everyone says something about me. It’s difficult to understand because five months ago, nobody knew who I was. Now, everyone wants to say hello.'

But that was then. All of the fun and excitement kept Ferrero from being fully prepared for 2001. He lost in the second round of the Australian Open to Andrew Ilie in five sets, then dropped another five-setter to the Netherlands’ Raemon Sluiter as Spain surrendered its Davis Cup championship just two months after Ferrero’s dramatic victory. Ferrero fell again, to Croatia’s Ivan Ljubicic, in the first round at Rotterdam.

Then it was on to Dubai -- and a bit of redemption. Ferrero stormed past Jonas Bjorkman, Jiri Novak, Magnus Norman, and Dominik Hrbaty. His final-round opponent was his old practice partner -- and reigning U.S. Open champion -- Safin. Unfortunately, a lower-back injury forced Safin to retire in the second set.

Ferrero, however, couldn’t keep the good times rolling, losing a brutal three-and-a-half-hour match 7-6 (7-3), 6-7 (4-7), 7-6 (8-6) to Chilean qualifier Nicolas Massu in Indian Wells in March.

'This year has been difficult in the beginning, because I only had 10 days holiday,' says Ferrero. 'I finished my year late [due to Davis Cup], and then I had to leave for Australia. I didn’t get to spend time with my family and friends, just going to the cinema, driving my car and motorbike through the mountains near my home. You need to do these things to get away from tennis.

'But I also have much to learn. This year, my goal is to get into the Top 5, which I think I can do. I want to get into the Masters [Cup] at the end of the year. To do that, I have to play better on hard courts and indoors. And, of course, the Grand Slams are very important.'

He’s sure made a believer of his fellow Spaniards. 'Juan Carlos is one of the better players of the Spanish Armada,' says Balcells. 'He can definitely be in the Top 10 because he is in such good physical condition. He’s not so big, but he bites.

'Just like a mosquito.'

.:S P A N I S H M O S Q U I T O:.


28,276 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·

Wednesday, August 08, 2001
Spain's Ferrero rising star


By Lyndsay Sutton
The Cincinnati Enquirer
MASON — He stumbles over the two words like a child just learning to read. He forms the words with his mouth, but their meanings are lost on him in translation.

For an up-and-comer like Spain's Juan Carlos Ferrero, “rising star” has not found its way into his mind's English dictionary.

• Schedule, results
• Tickets: 11 a.m., 7 p.m. ($22). Call 651-0303 or TicketMaster at 562-4949.
• Television: 1-3 p.m., ESPN (live); 8-10 p.m., ESPN2 (live)
• The bracket
• More Masters facts

“Rising star? What is that?” he asks after his 6-4, 6-4 first-round win Monday over Wayne Arthurs at Tennis Masters Series Cincinnati. He faces Hicham Arazi today in the second round.

Other tennis players, including countryman Carlos Moya, think Ferrero is one of the sport's rising stars.

“He's gonna be a tough player for the next five years for sure,” Moya said Monday afternoon.

Ferrero, 21, turned pro in 1998 and was named the ATP Newcomer of Year in 1999, when he won his first ATP Tour event in Mallorca. He was one of three teens, including Marat Safin and Lleyton Hewitt, to win an ATP title that year.

He reached the semifinals of the French Open last year, the closest he has come to winning a Grand Slam title. “I working hard when I was younger to be No. 1,” Ferrero said. “But you know, right now is when I'm very close.”

He won Tennis Masters Series Rome in May this year, defeating Gustavo Kuerten in the final. Entering the tournament here, he was in third place in the ATP Champions Race 2001, behind only Kuerten and Andre Agassi.

He replaced Spain's then-No.1 player Alex Corretja in the opening-round singles of the 2000 Davis Cup finals against Australia and earned wins over Patrick Rafter and Hewitt, pacing Spain to its first-ever Davis Cup.

“He was the main actor there,” Moya said of Ferrero. “He had a lot of pressure on him. He proved to people he meant to be up there and in just a few months he won many tournaments.”

And impressed many people.

“(Boris) Becker, (Ivan) Lendl and all these players retire and everybody wonder who's gonna be the next big star,” Moya said. “A lot of young players coming up ... like Guga (Kuerten), Ferrero, (Andy) Roddick. They're gonna be the next big names.”

But Ferrero said he won't be satisfied with any success until he is the top-ranked player in the world.

28,276 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·

Thursday, June 8
Norman heavy favorite in men's final four

Associated Press

PARIS -- No one has had an easier ride to the semifinals of the French Open than Magnus Norman.

The cool Swede, seeded No. 3, sailed through the tournament, dropping only one set in just 10 hours of play to reach the second Grand Slam tournament semifinal of his career.

Norman, 24, says the thrill of his life would be to reach Sunday's final, but he first must conquer Franco Squillari of Argentina, the only unseeded player to make the semis.

And that may be a daunting task. Squillari, 23, ousted Spain's Albert Costa for his semifinal berth and is playing with new-found confidence and strength.

"If he continues to play like that, he'll win the tournament," Costa said of the left-handed Squillari.

But Norman is determined to make the most of his chances, and with top-seeded Andre Agassi already out of the running, they've never been better.

"I've never been in a Grand Slam final. That's motivation enough," he said. "I've been working so hard for this. I'm going to work even harder on Friday to be able to get to that final. That would be the biggest thrill of my life. I'm not going to let it slip through, no chance."

Norman comes into the semis having won 15 of his last 17 matches. He won five tournaments last year and reached his first Grand Slam tournament semifinal at the Australian Open. Last month, he defeated Gustavo Kuerten to win the Italian Open and pass Agassi in the ATP Tour points race.

A hard worker who prepares his matches with great care -- he keeps a diary and takes notes on his opponents -- Norman couldn't even stay away from center court on his day off Thursday. He sat in the stands watching Mary Pierce beat Martina Hingis in their women's semifinal duel.

Squillari, who grew up watching videos of Guillermo Vilas, is the first Argentine to reach a Grand Slam tournament semifinal since Vilas did it at the 1982 U.S. Open.

He plays nearly 6 feet behind the baseline, but still jerks his opponents from side to side with power and precision, especially off his forehand.

The other semifinal pits the Brazilian Kuerten, the 1997 French Open champion and No. 5 seed, against Spanish hopeful Juan Carlos Ferrero, the No. 16 seed who knocked out Mark Phillipoussis to gain the quarters.

Ferrero, 20, who shares his first two names with the King of Spain, is a force to reckon with, and Paris has often been kind to Spaniards. He posted one of the most brilliant climbs in the history of the ATP Tour -- skyrocketing from No. 345 to 43 to earn the tour's Newcomer of the Year award in April.

With all the pressure on Kuerten -- he's won 17 matches at Roland Garros and lost only three -- fans can expect the Spaniard to bang the ball with his usual tonnage of topspin and pound two-fisted backhands pretty much where he wants.

Though clay remains his best surface, the hot Spaniard grew up in a town without clay courts, refining the aggressive game that goes with hardcourts.

A heartthrob in Spain, Ferrero is virtually unknown in Paris, and the French fans are likely to cheer for Kuerten as they have in the past.

The 23-year-old Brazilian had the crowd hollering his nickname "Guga, Guga, Guga" as he rallied from a two-set, 2-4 deficit to defeat Yevgeny Kafelnikov in the quarters

28,276 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·

Ferrero Captures First Career Tennis Masters Series Title
By ATP Tour
Ferrero Captures First Career Tennis Masters Series Title in Rome No. 8 seed Juan Carlos Ferrero came from behind to beat top-seed and the world's top clay court player Gustavo Kuerten 3-6, 6-1, 2-6, 6-4, 6-2, to capture his biggest career title at the Tennis Masters Series Roma.

The 3 hour, 4 minute battle might be an early championship preview of what to expect at Roland Garros next month. Kuerten came into the final with a 24-1 record on clay this season while Ferrero was 16-1. The two played in the semifinals at Roland Garros last year and the Brazilian prevailed in five sets.

The 21-year-old earned his ATP-best fourth title of the season and climbed to 2nd in the ATP Champions Race while becoming the fourth Spanish winner in Rome. He joins countrymen Manuel Orantes in 1972, Emilio Sanchez in 1991 and Alex Corretja in 1997 to capture the prestigious clay court title. The five-set final was the first in Rome since 1989 when Alberto Mancini defeated Andre Agassi.

Ferrero entered Rome off his five-set title victory over countryman Carlos Moya in Barcelona and he continued his winning ways by not losing a set en route to the final.

"Barcelona gave me a lot of confidence because I played with the Spanish players, some very strong players," said Ferrero, who takes his career-best 11-match winning streak into Hamburg.

"And this is the first time I won a Masters Series (title), and I am really very happy about that. But I think this tournament is giving me more confidence going to Roland Garros."

Kuerten, who was also attempting to win his fourth ATP title of the season, finished runner-up in Rome for the second straight year. He did win the title in Rome two years ago.

"It was a great week, again. I beat some great players to get to the final," said Kuerten, who defeated Michael Chang, No. 15 seed Franco Squillari, No. 10 Alex Corretja and unseeded Andreas Vinciguerra without dropping a set. "I played well enough maybe to win. I am still in good shape and I am playing great tennis, and besides that, I am enjoying a lot of things I am doing on the court."

During the week, defending champion Magnus Norman lost in the first round to Italian wild card Vincenzo Santopadre and another local player, 21-year-old Federico Luzzi posted impressive wins over No. 11 seed Arnaud Clement and TMS Monte Carlo finalist Hicham Arazi en route to the Round of 16. Pete Sampras made his 2001 clay court debut and lost in the first round to eventual quarterfinalist Harel Levy.

Ferreira/Kafelnikov claim fourth Tennis Masters Series title
No. 5 seeds Wayne Ferreira and Yevgeny Kafelnikov defeated top seeds Daniel Nestor and Sandon Stolle 6-4, 7-6(6) to earn their fourth career Tennis Masters Series title and second of the year.

For Ferreira, it was his first doubles title in Rome after four previous runner-up finishes -last year (w/Kafelnikov) and in 1992-93 (w/M. Kratzmann) and 1994 (w/J. Sanchez). Kafelnikov won his second doubles title in Rome, the first since 1994 (w/Rikl).

"I've been in the finals here a few times and it was nice to finally win, especially a big one like this," said Ferreira, who won his 10th career doubles title. "The Grand Slams and Tennis Masters Series are important and the next step for us will be to win a Grand Slam. But if I'm going to win tournaments, these are the ones I want to win."

Stolle reached the Rome final for the first time, 38 years after his father Fred, who won the title for the first time in 1963 (w/Bob Hewitt). He also won in '64 and '66.


28,276 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
This one talks about the Wimbledon controvery in 2000. It is mainly about Corretja and Costa, but there is a bit about Ferrero. Silly lad forgot his passport it seems ;)

Corretja and Costa stage late walk-out
Opening day reduced to farce after withdrawal by leading Spanish men in protest over 'unfair' seedings
By John roberts
26 June 2000
There are enough major matches scheduled for the opening day at Wimbledon to make up for the absence of two Spanish players who usually make little or no impact on the Championships, but hogged the headlines yesterday by walking out of the tournament.

Alex Corretja and Albert Costa flew back home after protesting against the lack of respect they believe they have been shown by both Wimbledon and their own ATP Tour by not being seeded according to their status in the tennis world that exists beyond the one month that is played on grass.

"We are not terrorists. We just do not think it is fair," Corretja said, confirming that he and Costa, who arrived in London yesterday to state their case, have decided to withdraw. Earlier, they had threatened to play one game and walk off the court. It is believed that they will not be fined for their actions, any financial loss amounting to forfeiting first-round losers' prize money of £7,160, paying an overnight hotel bill plus their ticket back to Spain.

At noon on Court Two, Costa was due to play Richard Krajicek, the 1996 champion, who has been promoted to No 11 in the seeding from No 25 in the ATP Tour's entry system. Corretja was scheduled to play his compatriot Alberto Martin, in the second match of Court Three.

A third Spanish player, the 20 year-old Juan Carlos Ferrero, a semi-finalist on clay at the French Open last month, had also threatened to withdraw until a back injury made the decision for him. "Juan Carlos would have been here with us today to state our case," Corretja said yesterday. "But, being a young guy, he arrived at the airport without his passport."

Corretja, a former president of the ATP Tour player council, emphasised that their action was not specifically related to the fact that Britain's Greg Rusedski was seeded No 14 from No 21 in the entry system, or that Tim Henman was promoted to eighth seed from No 14 in the entry list.

The root of the issue is that the ATP Tour's rules now make it mandatory for leading players to play in the four Grand Slam championships and nine Masters Series events but allow Wimbledon to seed by committee and disregard players rankings earned over a 52-week period on various court surfaces. One course of action suggested yesterday was that Wimbledon should be dropped as a compulsory tournament.

Mark Miles, the ATP Tour's chief executive, said: "These players are not be breaking our rule. It's a question of Wimbledon's rules. I guess the Grand Slam Committee's rules.

"Personally, with these guys deciding as a matter of conscience that they don't want to play, I would hope that under the circumstances the All England Club would not fine them."

Tim Phillips, the Wimbledon chairman, said: "There are two philosophies here: One, that you go straight down the [ATP Tour] list; the other, that you take the list and and maybe make some amendments to reflect grass court, historic performance, and one or two other considerations.

"We could have had a situation this year, going straight down the list with [Andre] Agassi at the top of the draw, ranked No 1, and the next five players, going down the line, could have been Rafter, Krajicek, Philippoussis, Martin, Rusedski. In a grass-court tournament, that would not be a happy outcome from the seeding process."

"We were unwilling to revise the seedings and the draw as requested, but both organisations have agreed to work together over the next 12 months to determine a seeding system that addresses player prowess on different types of surface."

---------- the artices goes on for a while longer but it loses the plot and talks about contedors. Feel free to go to the site and check it out if you care :)

28,276 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Once again, this is not directly about Ferrero, but its about the new balls campaign.

New balls, different racket for the laddish tendency

Who says sex doesn't sell? Certainly not the men's tennis tour

By Ronald Atkin
20 August 2000

The picture shown here is not of participants in a mass jailbreak pausing in their bid for freedom to voice a defiance of authority. Nor is it a publicity still from a remake of Creatures from the Black Lagoon. Hey guys, get with it.

This is a multi-million-dollar advertising campaign for the tennis players' organisation, the ATP Tour, to show that there is life in the game when Pete Sampras and Andre Agassi are gone. The campaign, which is running in North America in the build-up to the US Open and due to figure in Europe (but not Britain) when the Tennis Masters series crosses the Atlantic in the autumn, set out to be controversial and in this, at least, it has succeeded, attracting comments like "crass" and "cheap".

Sampras, not someone inclined to shout and wave his arms about such matters, simply said the campaign was "not my cup of tea". All of which is meat and drink, so to speak, to Jonathan Trimble, one of the project's creative team from the London ad agency Marsteller. "Sampras's comment reminded me of cucumber sandwiches and Wimbledon, which is what we are trying to subvert in a way, to show a bit more about the characters of the players. It is deliberately provocative, harking back to the John McEnroe days, when there was quite a lot of swearing on court. Or like Nike, whose ads are called 'irreverence justified'.

"I am not ashamed to say we were half-looking for a men's answer to the Anna Kourni-kova bra campaign, 'Only The Balls Bounce'. Anna has never won a tournament but everyone wants to watch her, she is so exciting and is doing great things for the women's game."

The ATP Tour picked the players it wanted featured. They were looking, said Trimble, for those with "good attitude, charismatic, who could deliver on court". The seven are: Jan-Michael Gambill (US), Tommy Haas (Germany), Lleyton Hewitt (Australia), Gustavo Kuerten (Brazil), Juan Carlos Ferrero (Spain), Nicolas Lapentti (Ecuador) and Roger Federer (Switzerland). Also to be featured in future promotions are Marat Safin (Russia), Magnus Norman (Sweden), Mark Philippoussis (Australia), Nicolas Kiefer (Germany), Mariano Zabaleta (Argentina) and, for the Asian market, Thailand's Paradorn Sricha-phan, though he is not in the top 100 in the ATP Champions Race 2000.

However, most of the others are young and upcoming. What's more, they approve of the spotlight being directed at them for a change. Hewitt enthused: "It's fantastic to be put in such a group of élite players, the future of tennis. I think it's a good idea." Kuerten was a touch irreverent himself. "We are more beautiful than the older stars," he said. At 27, Pat Rafter is considered too old to qualify, but wishes the project well. "The New Balls campaign is great. I really like the idea." Agassi (30) is also sympathetic: "It's always good to introduce players to the public, especially if they're young. The earlier you get to know them the better it is for the game."

Setting aside his cup of tea, Sampras got to the heart of his objections. "They could probably have come up with a better slogan. I don't think the Tour needs a new attitude." But he exposed the need for the campaign by adding: "The players are getting younger, better and stronger, but I walk into the locker room and I don't recognise a lot of the guys."

Recognition was a key theme for Marsteller. "Viewers don't feel as emotionally involved with men's tennis and have less of an affinity to the players," said their document. "Winning is important, but even more so is winning the hearts of the audience." And, of course, helping the Average Joes to recognise who it is they are watching.

The brief, say Marsteller, "was based on a strategy of new blood, new attitude". From there, presumably, it was a soft bounce to new balls which, they add, "tips a hat to the establishment whilst also subverting it, withtons of sex app- eal and 'positive irreverence'.

"We didn't want to make it overtly sexual, alienating people," said Trimble. "Then right into our lap fell Pete Sampras, announcing it wasn't his cup of tea. The more people who dislike it, the better. You can't have a revolution if the establishment like it, though it is a bit unfair to say we are being crass."

The design team, added Trimble, also discussed ideas built around The Magnificent Seven or a gladiatorial theme that in tennis one must win and one must "die".

In 1968, when the sport went open, World Championship Tennis was famously built around a group known as The Handsome Eight: John Newcombe, Tony Roche, Cliff Drysdale, Dennis Ralston, Butch Buchholz, Nikki Pilic, Pierre Barthes and our own Roger Taylor. Same thing, surely? Trimble said he had never heard of The Handsome Eight.

Which clearly shows the ephemeral nature of sport, whether you're talking new balls or old.

28,276 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
This is a good one :eek: It was exactly the sort of thing that I was looking for actually :D

Ferrero the hero feted by king and country

By Ronald Atkin
17 December 2000

As seminal sporting moments go, it registered high on the Richter Scale. The low backhand which Juan Carlos Ferrero sent scudding past Lleyton Hewitt to win the Davis Cup for Spain instantly transformed the 20-year-old from a fine tennis player into Hero of Iberia.

Once he had survived the unnerving experience of his beefy captain, Javier Duarte, diving on top of him as he lay flat on his back, Ferrero was hauled to his feet, dusted free of the court clay in which he was smothered and transported for a triumphal circuit of the Palau Sant Jordi on the shoulders of his team-mate, Alex Corretja.

Amid the soaring celebrations, and virtually unnoticed, Ferrero raised two fingers to his lips and blew a gentle kiss skywards, a greeting to his mother, Rosario, who died of cancer four years ago. Then it was on towards the VIP dais, where another Juan Carlos, king of the country, reached down at a precipitate angle for a handshake with the lad whose parents had named him after their monarch.

By last Thursday the two Juan Carloses had shaken hands again, at a reception for the team in Madrid. By then, of course, Ferrero had become Spain's most lauded sportsman of the moment, earning comparison with such as the Tour de France giant Miguel Indurain and Seve Ballesteros.

The Spanish team's post-match champagne-spraying session, interrupted by the need to attend doping control, proceeded via an official dinner to a Barcelona disco called Gaslight, where the players ended up onstage and Ferrero, the lad with the face of a choirboy, performed what a local paper called "un simpatico y discreto striptease". By the time Ferrero presented himself just before noon next day for a marathon session of interviews, the following had happened: Sergio Tacchini signed him to a four-year shirt contract; the tourist office of his home province, Valencia, tabled a bid to become his leading sponsor; Spain's top communications company, Telefonico, offered what it called a "supercontracto"; and the citizens back home in Onteniente circulated a petition to raise a monument in his honour, unheard of in this anonymous hill town of 32,000 souls.

Before plunging into another celebrity day on Tuesday, Ferrero took himself off for an evening meal at McDonald's, followed by a visit to the cinema, one of his passions. He has seen Titanic four times and also loved Notting Hill. "I am a romantic," he explains. He is also car-crazy, driving a Mitsubishi but nursing ambitions to move to Ferrari status. Another passion is football, particularly Real Madrid. In the middle of last Sunday's frenzy he found time to ask how Real had got on (they beat Celta 3-0). The enterprising, but possibly ill-informed, Barc-elona president, Juan Gaspart, rushed to their hotel on Sunday evening to present all four Davis Cup players with named Barça shirts. Ferrero accepted with a straight face.

But then Juan Carlos has never been one for showing much emotion. Although he has two older sisters, Ana and Laura, Ferrero is the only son of a former pelota professional, Eduardo, and the first racket he lifted, aged four, was a pelota one. By seven, along with interests in football and basketball, he was into tennis, practising endlessly against the wall of the textile workshop in the basement of the family home. Vicente Penades, coach of his first club, Helios in Onteniente, said: "He was as skinny as a shower pipe in those days. The racket weighed more than he did, which is why he developed the two-handed grip."

Soon, Ferrero outgrew the facilities of his home town. So, while Juan Carlos did his homework in the car, his mother drove him most evenings and every weekend the 20 miles to the Esquelite tennis centre in Villena. Eventually he became a resident and, under the guidance of Antonio Martinez Cascales, still his coach, he won the world under-13 title. Preferring to be based near home, Ferrero rejected offers from the Nick Bollettieri academy in Florida and the Spanish Tennis Federation's youth development school in San Cugat.

After his first professional year in 1998 Ferrero had climbed 302 ranking places to end at 43. Last year the light-hitting but deadly player now nicknamed "Mosquito" won his first tour title, beating Corretja in the Majorca final. This year, in climbing to 12th, he has been runner-up in Dubai and Barcelona and a semi-finalist at his first French Open. Wimbledon has yet to see Ferrero since, along with Corretja and Albert Costa, he boycotted this year's Championships in protest at not being seeded according to his world ranking.

This was a clear indication of his determination not be be belittled, though he is not, as one Barcelona sports daily dubbed him, Juan Carlos Fiero (ferocious). More Juan Carlos Fearless, a man who has set his sights early on winning the 2001 French Open.

Ferrero acknowledges that his rise has been rapid, to say the least. "I have put myself in the limelight very quickly but I am happier with a bit less of all that." As his father pointed out, "What Juan Carlos likes most is to be big on the tennis court and as normal as possible away from it."

Having announced long-term intentions by buying 10,000 square metres of land in Onteniente to build the tennis centre the town lacks, Ferrero showed his dislike of the limelight by saying that, before he starts the 2001 season on New Year's Day with the tournament in Chennai, India, he intends to take a holiday. "As far away from Spain as possible," smiled the Hero of Iberia.

28,276 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 ·

Spain's success could broaden game's appeal

By John Roberts
12 December 2000

Spain's historic Davis Cup triumph last weekend confirmed another emerging talent in the men's game as a player of substance. Just as Russia's Marat Safin made his name by overwhelming Pete Sampras to win the United States Open in September, so Juan Carlos Ferrero proved his quality by securing Spain's victory against Australia in Barcelona.

The bonus in Barcelona was that the 20-year-old Ferrero accomplished his most important success to date with a narrow win against Lleyton Hewitt, the 19-year-old from Adelaide who had already assured his place among his nation's long list of Davis Cup heroes by overcoming Albert Costa and a hostile crowd in the opening match in the Palau Sant Jordi last Friday.

What Hewitt and Ferrero have in common with Safin is an ability to hit impressive ground-strokes from all parts of the court. When it comes to a physical presence, however, the 20-year-old Safin is Gulliver in Lilliput.

The Muscovite is not the only man on the ATP Tour who stands more than 6ft 4in, but he uses every sinew to overpower the opposition, whereas Hewitt and Ferrero, in the manner of Andre Agassi, depend a great deal on footwork, timing, stamina and confidence.

Safin, like Hewitt, may achieve his best results on medium-pace concrete courts. Ferrero's game was made for the slower clay surfaces, such those at the French Open in Paris and the one laid indoors in Barcelona last weekend.

That is not to underestimate Safin's potential on clay, since this was the surface on which his game was developed from his early teens. His parents, with the help of sponsorship from a Swiss bank, sent him to Valencia to be coached by Rafael Mensua - little more than a lob away from where Ferrero was training with Antonio Martinez.

If Safin can be counted as part of Spain's success story during the past decade - major triumphs for Sergi Bruguera, Carlos Moya and Alex Corretja among the men and for Arantxa Sanchez-Vicario and Conchita Martinez in the women's game - the migration of wannabes to Barcelona and Valencia may eventually exceed those heading for the tennis acadamies of Florida.

One of the most moving moments of a generally raucous weekend in the Palau Sant Jordi was when Ferrero dedicated Sunday's victory to his late mother, Rosario, who died of breast cancer four years ago. "On the one hand, when my mother died I was on the verge of leaving tennis, as it was a tremendous blow," he said. "On the other hand, I also thought about carrying on for her, as she liked me to play so much."

Spain's Davis Cup glory, coupled with the Masters Cup victory of Gustavo Kuerten against Andre Agassi which enabled the Brazilian to succeed the American as the year-end world No 1, may serve to broaden the appeal of tennis, although the men's game in the United States is desperate for new blood and Sampras and Agassi would like to see the event played only every two years.

The rest of the world appears to embrace the Davis Cup more enthusiastically than ever. In fact, the most ominous lesson from Barcelona is that there may be a danger - if it is perceived as a danger - of the men's showpiece team event leaning too close towards the frenzy of football crowds.

Those who consider tennis too twee to merit consideration might have been impressed by the partisan passions the tie aroused in the Spanish supporters. Mark Woodforde, making his farewell appearance for Australia, said he felt "like a caged animal".

During the first two days, particularly in Hewitt's match against Costa, there were instances of whistles and calls as the Australian was about to serve, and between his first and second serves. The cheering of Australian errors and booing of their winners continued throughout the tie.

Juan Margets, the chairman of the Davis Cup committee, condemned attempts to disturb Hewitt in the final game of his match on Friday and emphasised that he did not like to hear the booing of a winning point.

"But this is not something to rule," he said. "This is to do with fair sportsmanship. To consider what has been happening here in terms of booing affecting the image of a sport, only in tennis among the really popular global sports is that an issue. This is a conversation that would not take place in football, basketball, et cetera."

In tennis there are moments when silence is golden. That is when the ball is in play.

10,038 Posts
Thanks for this article, Rebecca, it's my favorite one so far :)

Amid the soaring celebrations, and virtually unnoticed, Ferrero raised two fingers to his lips and blew a gentle kiss skywards, a greeting to his mother, Rosario, who died of cancer four years ago.
:sad: It's the little things that he does that really endear me to him.

By the time Ferrero presented himself just before noon next day for a marathon session of interviews, the following had happened: Sergio Tacchini signed him to a four-year shirt contract; the tourist office of his home province, Valencia, tabled a bid to become his leading sponsor; Spain's top communications company, Telefonico, offered what it called a "supercontracto"; and the citizens back home in Onteniente circulated a petition to raise a monument in his honour, unheard of in this anonymous hill town of 32,000 souls.
:eek: :eek: Wow, I didn't know all of this came from his Davis Cup victory. He was most deserving, of course, but still . . . wow!!

Before plunging into another celebrity day on Tuesday, Ferrero took himself off for an evening meal at McDonald's, followed by a visit to the cinema, one of his passions. He has seen Titanic four times and also loved Notting Hill. "I am a romantic," he explains.
Romantic :hearts: ::swoon:: :D

His taste for movies is even sappier than mine! I didn't know that was possible :)

28,276 Posts
Discussion Starter · #18 ·
And 4 times? Sheesh and that was two years ago, I dont even want to know how many times now :p

But seriously, I liked that article :)

I had wondered why he dropped Nike, and had Telephonica labels on his shirts.

8,816 Posts
Oh yes, the Titanic. There's no accounting for taste is there. Although I do understand going to see the same movie 4 times. I do it all the time. :eek: As long as he's a romantic, that's all that counts. :hearts:

And if it's at all possible. His taste in music is even worse. :p But we still love him, right? ;)

Ronald Atkin's article is probably the best I've ever read about Ferrero. It is funny and informative and paints a cute picture of Juanqui, but I guess that could fall under informative. ;) I love the discreet striptease bit and the way he received that Barca t-shirt with a straight face, lol.

Thanks for digging it up Rebecca. :D
1 - 20 of 43 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.