Resurfaced: Zverev Calls For Ovation On Ferrer's Final Point; Roger, Rafa, Novak Pay Tribute
Editor's Note: ATPTour.com is resurfacing features to bring fans closer to their favourite players during the current suspension in tournament play. This story was originally published on 8 May 2019.
You won’t find a player on the ATP Tour who doesn’t admire and respect David Ferrer.
As the Spaniard concluded his legendary 19-year career on Wednesday at the Mutua Madrid Open, the biggest names in tennis all paid tribute to his hard work, sportsmanship and relentless brand of baseline tennis.
Roger Federer: “I'm a big admirer of his work ethic and personality. The guy has been so solid for the last 20 years and he’s a player that, I think, is on the same level as me. He has my utmost respect. I just want to wish him the best with everything that his future has in store for him with his family.”
Rafael Nadal: “You are a great example for everyone of determination and hard work, and you have always behaved in the correct way, doing things right with the values necessary to motivate the youngsters. I’d like to congratulate you on your playing career and above all as a person. You are an exceptional colleague and you have been throughout your career. We’re going to miss you, not just the Spaniards, but the whole of tennis. I wish you the best for your future.”
More On Ferrer's Retirement
#GraciasFerrer: A Tribute
Farewell Match: Ferrer Bids Emotional Goodbye In Madrid
Career Reflections: 'I Tried To Give My All'
Exclusive Q&A: 'In The End, All You Have Left Is The Person'
Novak Djokovic: “I have great respect for him as a player and a person. His fighting spirit and his devotion to our sport has won him the admiration of all of us. In a way, it is sad to see him go.”
Juan Martin del Potro: “One of the greatest players of this sport and one of the best people the tour has had is retiring. I can’t do any more than thank him for everything he has done for this sport and the way he has carried himself both on and off the court. I wish him the best in this new phase of his life. We’re really going to miss him. A friend is retiring, someone whom I have great respect, admiration and affection for.”
Dominic Thiem: “It’s a special moment for me because I used to watch him on TV playing big matches when I was just 10 years old and, 12 years later, I was playing against him. His career is truly exceptional. He has one of the best careers in the history of tennis. I can only wish him the best. He’s a great player and an even better person. Tennis will really miss him.”
Marin Cilic (@cilic_marin) May 5, 2019
Kei Nishikori: “I’m very sad to see that he’s retiring because he is one of the players I used to look up to when I was young. I’ve learnt so much from him. Everything he has done is incredible, his career, playing at such a high level for so long… I don’t think anyone has done that before. I’m sad, but happy to have been able to enjoy time with him during his incredible career.”
Federico Delbonis (@FedeDelbonis) May 8, 2019
The admiration I have for @DavidFerrer87 is off the charts, you can use all the words you want. HE JUST GETS LIFE - full stop . An amazing man who will continue to impact others with the same brush.— roger rasheed (@roger_rasheed) May 8, 2019
Thanks for being a big part of this amazing tennis period. #atp #tennis #life
Jaume Munar: “I think he has been a role model for me and for the generation of young players that are coming behind me. He defined an era in Spain together with Rafa. I can only speak of gratitude to him. I think David will always be in tennis for Spain and for the world.”
to be able to understand @DavidFerrer87 speech tonight...was worth learning Spanish all these years!— Kristina Mladenovic (@KikiMladenovic) May 8, 2019
Qué gran persona y campeón eres! 🙌🏻
When you wish that your own kids one day will be like him, you know he is a special person. Thank you for inspiring so many to hard work #GraciasFerru— Ivan Ljubicic (@theljubicic) May 8, 2019
Diego Schwartzman: “It was a pleasure to share these years with you competing, training and sharing special moments. I learned to love you both on and off the court. I wish you great happiness in this new phase of your life.”