After an epic journey that saw competing in 1111 ATP matches and 52 ATP finals, 27-time ATP champion and a former world no. 3 David Ferrer has played the last encounter in a career, losing to Alexander Zverev 6-4, 6-1 in front of the partisan crowd at Caja Magica.
Known as one of the most consistent, determined and competitive players outside the 'big 4' in the last 15 years, David had battled for some of the most significant tennis titles, reaching the final at Roland Garros, ATP Finals and Masters 1000 events, lifting his biggest trophy in Paris 2012 and delivering more than 50 triumphs over the rivals from the top-10.
Embracing a challenging calendar year after year, David finally started to slow down a few seasons ago and decided to play a small swing of favorite events in 2019 and retire here in Madrid, 17 years after making an ATP debut in Estoril in 2002!
In the first round, David defeated Roberto Bautista Agut in three sets for the 734th and final ATP win, standing no chance tonight after an initial 4-1 lead, with Zverev shifting into a higher gear to grab 11 of the last 12 games and send David into a deserved retirement.
After that initial setback, the struggling German picked up his game, breaking David four times in a row to forge the lead in set number two and bring the match home with another break in game seven. "I was thinking about a lot of emotional moments, both on the court and in life in general because I have been playing tennis my entire life.
Tonight was my last match and I want to thank everyone who came and support me. I feel like a lucky man, finishing my career in Madrid, with my family and close friends, a special moment I will never forget. I'm proud of the fact I have been improving both my life and tennis every single year, being a different person now than I was 20 years ago.
Tennis is a part of my life, growing with people from tennis who taught me a lot, I have really good friends in this sport."