David Ferrer Biography And Detailed Game Analysis

David Ferrer is a professional tennis player from Xabia, Spain. He has been a consistent Top20 player for many years now and achieved his career high ranking of number 4 in the world in 2008. He plays with a counter-punching game style.

Great Movement And
Incredible Counter-Punching Skills!


Ferrer was born in 1982 in Xabia, Spain. He grew up in a sports family and played a lot of Tennis alongside his brother. He never competed on the ITF Junior Circuit though!

A well-known story about him is the fact that his coach, Javier Piles, used to lock him into a dark little room for hours at a time, whenever Ferrer didn’t practice hard enough!

David considered quitting Tennis during this time but managed to continue and become one of the world’s best players.

Success on the Pro Tour came rather quickly for him after turning pro in the year 2000. In 2002 he won his first title on the ATP Tour in Bucharest and finished inside the Top100 for the first time. In 2005 he cracked the Top20 and as of November 2011 he is ranked number 5 in the world!

Early in his career he was known as a clay court specialist but his game has evolved over the years and he has had some good success on hard courts as well!

Highlights of his career so far are 11 career singles titles, and reaching the semi-finals of the 2007 US Open and the 2011 Australian Open!

Game Analysis

David Ferrer has solid groundstrokes and is one of the best movers in the game.

Check Out This Great Point:
Showing His Superb Defensive Skills

1. Technical

Overall Ferrer has very solid technique! He doesn’t have a real weakness and he can play the net as well!


Ferrer has a very good forehand. This is the shot that he usually pressures his opponents with!

Like most Spanish players, he runs around his backhand a lot in order to hit powerful forehands, either inside-out or inside-in!

Like most players with a good forehand, he uses a short and compact motion. The majority of the power is generated from the lower body and Ferrer’s leg strength helps him in this regard!

Ferrer Hitting Groundstrokes in Practice:
A Very Good Forehand And A Solid Backhand

The only problem David Ferrer has on the forehand side is that he often hits it with too much topspin and as a result the balls land too short at times. This is caused by the so-called windshield wiper motion that he uses. He often would be better off extending out to the target more and using less windshield wiper!

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David Ferrer hits a solid two-handed backhand. He has a good grip structure and a nice swing path. Usually he gets good depth on his backhand shots but he does lack a bit of power on this side!

At times I believe he could use his legs and lower body more to get additional power on the backhand!


Ferrer hits a solid slice backhand. He tends to use it mostly on low balls. On the run he prefers to defend with two hands usually.


David has very good volley technique! He manages to stabilize the racket head on forehand and backhand volleys very well. This allows him to comfortably finish off points at the net. Unfortunately he doesn’t play aggressive enough to really take advantage of this strength very often!

Ferrer Practicing His Volleys


Ferrer has a solid serve for his height. He has a fluid motion and manages to win a fair amount of free points from his first serve!

The one thing that he could improve is the separation angle between his hips and his shoulders!

Unlike most great servers, he does not really turn away from the target during his motion. Turning away basically means rotating the shoulders to the right so that the back is directed more towards the net. Almost all great servers achieve this position and I believe Ferrer could improve his serve by adding this element to his motion!

2. Tactical

Ferrer is often considered a counter-puncher. His court position is usually a few feet behind the baseline and he defends really well. The winners that he hits on the run are often incredible!

Like most other Spanish players, he also tends to run around his backhand a lot. Oftentimes he does this a bit too much in my opinion!

Whenever he runs around and then hits topspin forehands that don’t really penetrate the court, he is simply giving up court position. I believe he would be better off to run around less and make sure that whenever he does run around he hits the forehand aggressive enough!

What’s holding him back from winning against the top guys in the later stages of Grand Slam tournaments is the fact that he doesn’t play aggressive enough and can’t sufficiently hurt them during rallies. As a result every point is a real struggle for him.

At times in his matches against the top players it seems like he starts grunting a bit louder and hitting the ball a bit harder than usual.

During those stretches he usually competes best against these guys and the challenge for him is to come out and try to play like this on a regular basis!

3. Physical

David Ferrer is one of the best movers on the ATP Tour and overall is certainly one of the fittest guys on the tour. This is to a certain degree surprising because it is well-known that he didn’t have the best attitude towards practice in his junior years.

Nowadays the physical aspect is certainly the strongest area of Ferrer’s game!

He has incredibly strong legs and can change direction on the court as well as anyone in the game today. This in combination with his great anticipation skills, makes it very tough to hit a winner against him!

4. Mental

Ferrer is also a very good competitor. He will play every point 100% and run down every ball, no matter what the score is in a match.

The only thing that he could improve in this area is his attitude towards playing more aggressive. Of course the tactical and mental area of the game are very closely related and one problem for Ferrer is that he does not seem to be willing to play aggressive enough even when things aren’t going his way!


Ferrer is strong in all four areas of the game but his physical and mental skills are certainly at the top of the list in my opinion!

1. Physical
2. Mental
3. Technical
4. Tactical

Coaching Recommendation

Overall, I would say that David Ferrer needs to improve his serve some more and also play more aggressive from baseline!

In regards to the serve, simply turning his upper body away from the target a bit more could already result in better results!

In regards to playing more aggressive, I believe it will be difficult but not impossible for Ferrer. There are definitely situations in matches where he could go for more and if he learns to do so step by step than he might have a chance of becoming a more aggressive player!

With his technique and physical strength he is certainly capable of playing more aggressive. A good start would be to flatten out that forehand in certain situations! The difficulty will of course be the fact that he has played a certain way for so many years and this is engrained deeply in his subconscious mind!

I am not sure if these adjustments could make him a regular Grand Slam contender, simply because the Top4 are so incredibly strong, but it would certainly improve his chances!

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