David Ferrer’s straight sets loss to his fellow Spaniard came as little surprise to anyone, as Nadal’s stormed to his eighth victory at the French Open with a 6-3, 6-2, 6-3 victory.
However, there can be no doubt that Ferrer, who is currently ranked No.4 in the world, is a great player with a lot of ability. Nadal is by no means unbeatable, but to be in with any chance of defeating Nadal at next year’s French Open Ferrer must play a perfect match. To do this, Ferrer must improve on the following:
His first serve
This was a noticeably weak part of Ferrer’s game at this year’s event, and that he was able to survive his Quarter Final match against Tommy Robredo, despite faulting on 53% of his first serves is testament to much of the rest of his game. Fortunately for him, Ferrer was able to improve on this dismal statistic in his Semi-Final against Jo-Wilfred Tsonga, managing to play the ball accurately on 60% of his first serves during the match. During the Final, Ferrer again improved on this statistic, but only slightly – managing to get 62% of his first serves in play.
It is clear that to win any major tournament against a player of Nadal’s calibre, Ferrer must work to improve on this part of his game. This is especially true since Nadal is known for his ability to pounce on slower second serves. The use of creatine monohydrate is known to help tennis players’ increase serving velocity, so perhaps much of the answer in improving Ferrer’s serve could be to enhance his dietary intake. Like anyone however, Ferrer would be best advised to do some research on such health supplements before taking. For more information visit: a health and supplements guide.
Playing to his opponents’ weaknesses
Poor first serve accuracy is not the only way in which Ferrer plays to the strength of the greater opponents, rather than their weaknesses. To use the Nadal example again, it would have been very much in Ferrer’s interest to exploit the latter’s known weakness in his knees and stretch out the match as long as possible in order aggravate Nadal’s relative lack of fitness. In the future, Ferrer can do this by playing a defensive game and avoiding going to the net too often, thereby encouraging rallies and hopefully tiring out Nadal in the process.
Photo credit: Marianne Bevis