David Marrero, one of the best Spanish doubles specialists of the Open Era—his palmares includes the 2013 ATP Finals and the 2015 Rome Master 1000, as well as several quarterfinals of three Grand Slams—has played exactly 106 finals so far in his career, 90 of which in doubles mode.
“I had no idea that I had played 90 finals, what a good number,” he said, smiling. Of those, he has won 47. “Then the average is above 50 percent”. Marrero had originally kicked off his career as a focused singles player, back in 1998.
While he attained a fairly considerable level in this mode—becoming World No. 143 in February 2010—his major achievements and best-ever ranking place (5th-2013) belong to his life as a doubles player. In April 2019, he won his most recent doubles title at the Murcia Challenger—nineteen years before, he had reached his first-ever doubles final at the F15 of Aix-les-Bains, France.
“Obviously, you cannot compare the first final you played with the last. In the end, the first finals make you more excited than the last ones,” Marrero told TWUSA. “After 90 finals, over time, you get a little more used to playing finals and don't give them the importance of the first—it is the one which carries more more values and more joy.
Perhaps not exactly more joy, but which you enjoy the most because, ‘Wow, the first final, what is it going to be like?’" While Marrero's comparison drifted to the emotional aspect of the situation, he recognized the obvious importance of his most recent victories, "The last ones were much more important, because they are bigger wins, and the consequences are bigger.
An ITF final is not the same as an ATP final, they cannot be compared. But emotionally... I couldn’t tell, I do not remember what I felt, when playing my first final, but I can say that it was possibly more rewarding than the most recent.
Because in the end you get used to it a bit—which is good, because if you get used to playing finals, it means you have done a good job throughout your career. You see it as something… Not normal, but you know what you will feel, if you win and if you lose”.
Will Marrero widen his total of finals? He made sure to let us know that his career is not over yet, and his plans for the near future are clear: “Have a good preseason, prepare well physically, heal from injuries, and try again to jump to the courts at the ATP level”.