It’s only the second round of the US Open, but even before the draw was made, the tennis world was talking about another possible final against Novak Djokovic and Carlos Alcaraz, just as they did at Wimbledon and Cincinnati.
Among the many familiar faces at Flushing Meadows, one stood out – former world No. 3 David FerrerHe is also the current captain of Spain’s Davis Cup team.
In an exclusive interview with Tennis Majors, Ferrer talked about the men’s draw at the current US Open, the epic Cincinnati final between Carlos Alcaraz and Novak Djokovic, the Serb’s longevity and the improvements of Yanik Siner among others.
Grand Slam tennis: Who has a tougher path to the final – Djokovic or Alcaraz?
David Ferrer: I would say the draw started well, but Djokovic’s role has become more open, as he has lost some favourites. My opinion is that the Alcaraz route is a bit more complicated.
Tennis Grand Slam: Alcaraz is set to face Jannik Sinner in the quarterfinals, just like last year when they played their best match of the season. If they meet again, how do you see what will happen?
David Ferrer: I feel they are so beautiful. Carlos has already proven himself and his potential by winning two Grand Slam titles, but Sinner won in Toronto and I think he’s ready to win his first Grand Slam as well. With Djokovic, Alcaraz and Sinner stand out (compared to the others).
If he improves the little details he will be a great player
David Ferrer for Yannick Sinner
Tennis Majors: What do you think Sinner is missing in order to take his game to another level?
David Ferrer: It gets better every year. He may not have developed physically as quickly as Carlos, but he is on the right track. Yannick’s future is bright as there is plenty of room to advance his game – above all, heading to the net and serving. If he improves the little details he will be a great player.
Grand Slam Tennis: 11 years ago, I faced Djokovic in the semifinals here at the US Open. At the time, did you imagine that he would last this long?
David Ferrer: Well, I knew he was a great player and I saw that he was different from the others in terms of taking care of his body and his progressive way of thinking – Novak is always looking for ways to improve.
I don’t know if I thought he would reach such heights, but I thought he could become one of the best players in the history of the game.
Grand Slam Tennis: How long do you see Djokovic playing at this level?
David Ferrer: Without a doubt, I think Novak can continue like this for another two or three years.
Grand Slam: What are your impressions of the Cincinnati final between Djokovic and Alcaraz?
David Ferrer: I watched it, of course. In their matches, the margins are always very small and I think that is why every true tennis fan wants to see them play with each other. In Cincinnati, Djokovic refused to have a mental breakdown.
At Wimbledon, it was the other way around, Novak had his chances and didn’t manage to win in the end. This time, Carlos got his chance when Novak struggled physically, but then Novak managed to push through those problems, just like great champions do.
Grand Slam Tennis: Finally, when Carlos and Novak face each other, what are the keys to victory for each of them?
David Ferrer: They are very even and it comes down to the little details. Carlos changes the equation in his favor when he takes the points lead. If he’s not able to do that and put Novak under pressure…
Djokovic is a bit more consistent in his trades and when it comes to timing his shots, but when Carlos is able to hit really fast and get forward, then he can hurt Djokovic.