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U.S. Open 2012 Player Profile: David Ferrer

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David Ferrer is a hard-working and consistent player who has largely occupied the world #5 spot for the past few seasons, fending off worthy challengers such as Tomas Berdych, Jo-Wilfired Tsonga and Juan Martin del Potro.

As the world #5 and Spanish #2, Ferrer will be seeded 4th in the U.S. Open due to Rafael Nadal's absence, yet there is very little coverage of Ferrer.

There is no denying that Ferrer can play tennis at a very high level, yet what is his identity? Andy Murray, just above him in the rankings, is the consistent #4, the man expected to break up the Grand Slam dominance of the top 3. Yet the gulf in talent and ranking points has meant that Ferrer is constantly the odd-man out; in a Slam semifinal, there's only room for four. Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer will be praying to receive Ferrer on their side of the draw rather than Murray.

Here is my player profile on the Spanish veteran:

Full Name: David Ferrer Ern

Born: Valencia, Spain on April 2, 1982 (30 years old)

Height & Weight: 5 feet 9 inches, 160 pounds

Turned Pro: 2000

Coach: Javier Piles

Career Win-Loss: 463-240

Career Prize Money: $14,658,460

2012 Highlights: Career high of five titles so far: Heineken Open, Copa Claro, Albierto Mexicano Telcel, UNICEF Open, and SkiStar Swedish Open; beat Murray at the French Open.

World Rank: 5th

Ranking Analysis: Deserves this ranking as he is one of the most hardworking players on tour, but the talent of the Big 4 is simply too much for Ferrer to ever close the gap on. Instead, his focus should be on defending his spot; less than 1,000 points separate 5th from 7th, yet almost 4,00 points separate 4th from 5th.

Player Strengths: One of the fittest and most hardworking players on tour, even at age 30 Ferrer is a beast and can outrun most opponents. A competitor who competes till the last point, he is not unlike the Lleyton Hewitt of old. His running and strength allows him to be -- like most Spaniards -- a clay-court specialist, and his stamina can even frustrate or deflate opponents who are tired late in matches. Federer called Ferrer "the best returner in the game right now" back in 2007.

Player Weaknesses: At 5-9, Ferrer is not tall enough to be dominant in the modern game, and this is evident in his weak serving. The consistency in Ferrer's game suggest that he plays with maximum effort, but it also indicates that he has reached his ceiling, and that at age 30 he is unlikely to be able to improve.

Website: www.davidferrerr.com

Twitter: @DavidFerrer87

Additional Links:

Official ESPN Profile

Official ATP Profile

Brian has been a long-time tennis fan and has been writing about tennis since 2009.

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