Current world number four Rafael Nadal has bade farewell to the former world number one Juan Carlos Ferrero, saying that he spent a very good time and will miss him after his retirement. Nadal also wished that Ferrero could remain in touch with the tennis world in some way.
Ferrero, who is not only Nadal’s countryman but his very good friend and also a former Davis Cup team mate, announced on Wednesday that he would retire from professional after his next month’s home event, the Valencia Open.
Nadal wrote a status on his facebook page dedicated to Ferrero. It said, “A great moments with Juan Carlos Ferrero! I miss you friend, I hope that you continue in the tennis world!”
These two faced each other nine times on the ATP World Tour, from which seven matches were won by Nadal. However, Ferrero downed the King of clay in straight sets 7-5, 6-1 in the second round of the Rome Masters in 2008 to hand him one of the most rare losses on the clay courts.
Ferrero is one of the all time best clay court players. The Spaniard captured his only Grand Slam trophy at the 2003 French Open. Most of his 16 ATP World Tour title came on the clay courts. He captured all the three Masters Series events that are held on his favorite surface, grabbing Monte Carlo, Madrid and Rome titles.
Unlike many other players from his country, Ferrero also used to play quite well on the hard courts, as he reached the US Open final in 2003. Ferrero rose to the top position in the world rankings due to his superb performances in 2003 and remained there for 16 weeks.
Ferrero’s career remained troubled from injuries most of the time. He made a number of comebacks but one injury after another kept disturbing his career. This year too he has been out of action most of the time with injuries. Ferrero’s ranking has dropped to 111th in the world in this week.
Announcing his retirement plans, Ferrero said, "The Valencia Open 500 will be my final tournament, in the best possible scenario. This season injuries have prevented me from playing with regularity and it was a tough year as I realized on the court that I did not have the same ambition after 14 years at the top level."
He added, "I am starting a new phase in my life with tremendous excitement, I will continue to be involved with tennis through the Valencia Open, the academy, the foundation that carries my name and other projects."
Ferrero is one of the biggest tennis stars his country has ever produced. He steered Spain to its first Davis Cup title in 2000.