David Ferrer (ESP) vs.  Roberto Bautista Agut (ESP)
HISTORY OF FERRER
The thirty-seven-year-old Spaniard turned professional in 2000. He was ranked as high as number three in 2013. He first broke into the top ten on January 30th, 2006. From September 10th, 2007 to October 27th, 2008, he was in the top ten. He fell out of the top ten for a few years; however, he was back in the top ten again from October 11th, 2010 to May 16th, 2016 until he fell victim to injuries. He has won thirty-seven singles titles on every surface and one of them was the Paris Masters 1000 event in 2012. He was a finalist in twenty-five other tournaments (one was Roland Garros and seven other Masters 1000 events).
The Spaniard won his first singles title in 2002 in Bucharest on clay and his last tournament was in 2017 on clay in Bastad. He was married in 2015 to Marta and their son Leo, was born in 2018.
Despite having one of the biggest hearts on the tennis court, his injuries have taken a toll and he decided that this season would be his last. He picked the tournaments that were his favorite and he wanted to end in Madrid.
Despite the statistics, the odds favored Bautista Agut, who won their last encounter in 2017. Ferrer is playing with a lot of emotion as well as perhaps a lot of pain and his two victories against his countryman came in 2013. Once again, the Spaniard showed his heart; he fought through dropping the second set and a medical time out to defeat his friend 6-4, 4-6, 6-4. The Spaniard keeps alive his career with this victory and will next face the third seed, Alexander Zverev.
WHY HE WAS ONE OF MY FAVORITE PLAYERS
He appeared to be such a gentleman and he played every match with an intense passion I have rarely seen in any other athlete. I will miss him on the courts.
SOURCE OF IMAGES: Zimbio.com (Getty Images/Europe-David Ferrer)