End-of-season reports 2012: David Ferrer

End-of-season reports 2012: David Ferrer
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Sports Mole looks back over a record-breaking year for Spain's number two David Ferrer.

Since he turned professional in 2000, there have been very few players on the circuit that are more popular than the fiery David Ferrer.

His never-say-die attitude has made him a firm favourite with everybody connected with the sport and he showed that in spades in what turned out to be his best ever season.

It all began in Dubai where he defeated Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and fellow Spaniard Rafael Nadal on his way to reaching the final. That is where is luck ran out as Novak Djokovic claimed the title 6-2 6-1.

He responded in Auckland later in January though, taking the Heineken Open for a third time at the expense of Olivier Rochus.

Those performances took him into the Australian Open in positive form. However, at the quarter-final stage he once again ran into Djokovic, who advanced through thanks to a 6-4 7-6 6-1 success.

Ferrer bounced back by winning titles in Copa Claro and Acapulco against Nicolas Almagro and Fernando Verdasco in quick succession.

That took him into the clay court part of the year, which ended up being rather a mixed bag. He lost in round two at the Monte Carlo Masters to Brazilian Thomaz Bellucci, before reaching the final in Barcelona, where he lost to Nadal.

His performance in May's French Open ended up being his best showing at a Grand Slam event to date. He overcame Great Britain's Andy Murray in the quarter-finals and in turn advanced through to his first ever semi-final. It proved to be a losing experience for the pint-sized Spaniard though as he picked up just five games against eventual champion Nadal.

Although not considered to be a specialist on grass, Ferrer won his fourth title of the year against Philipp Petzschner in Holland.

Then came Wimbledon, where he again met Murray in the final eight of a Grand Slam. He was unable to repeat his Paris heroics though as the Brit gained revenge in front of a home crowd in four sets.

Unperturbed by that loss to Murray, Ferrer soon responded by taking the Swedish Open title with a 6-2 6-2 triumph over Almagro.

This was followed by September's US Open, where Ferrer reached his second Grand Slam semi-final of the year. Once again Djokovic proved to be too good, although Ferrer did manage to claim a set on this occasion.

Murray's maiden success at Flushing Meadows then resulted in many passing on the tag of the best player to have never won a Grand Slam title onto Ferrer - not something he has been to keen to recognise.

In preparation for the ATP World Tour Finals in November, Ferrer took his titles tally for the year up to seven with successes in Valencia and Paris. Incidentally, his win in Paris was his first ever ATP Masters 1000 event victory.

The aforementioned World Tour Finals ended disappointingly for the 30-year-old as he failed to get out of group that included Roger Federer, Juan Martin del Potro and Janko Tipsarevic.

Nevertheless that shouldn't put a dampener on his year as whole. He won 74 matches - and only world number one Djokovic claimed more victories. He ends the season as the world number five.

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