Photo: Nadal v Ferrer: French Open 2013
Who will Spain be cheering on at the French Open men’s final when the country’s best players, Adrian Ferrer vs. Rafael Nadel, face each other?
Ferrer, 31, comes in as the world’s 5th best player to Nadel’s 4th world ranking. Ferrer was born in Javea, Spain and currently resides in Valencia. He has been a pro tennis player for the past 13 years with $18.5 million in career prize money.
He has reached the quarterfinals in seven straight Grand Slams while Nadal is a seven-time French Open champ.
Nadal, 27, was born in Mallorca, Spain where he currently resides. He has been a pro since 2001 and has $53.8 million in career prize money.
Ferrer is coming in as the underdog while Nadal walks onto center court as the reigning French Open champ. Spain, however, loves an underdog which is how the country views itself lately as it struggles to overcome staggering economic woes and rebuild its image on the global stage.
Nadal meanwhile tarnished Spain’s love affair with him when he skipped out of the 2012 Olympics. Bowing out at the last minute, dashing the hopes of Spain bringing home the gold in tennis. Spain however has greatly appreciated Nadal taking the Spanish Davis Cup team to victory four times, in 2004, 2008, 2009 and 2011.
Both players love playing on clay but Ferrer has only beaten Nadal once back in 2004 when Rafa was only 18-years-old. Nadal, presumedly is fatigued after playing for nearly five hours in his semi-final match on the road to the French Open finals. He is making a return to pro playing this year after taking seven months off due to knee injuries.
Nadal holds a 58-1 record at Roland Garros in Paris, but Ferrer is the only player to not have dropped a set on the road to the French Open finals.
Spain has dubbed the two as “emperors” of the country; their match getting front page coverage in most Spanish newspapers. It was back in 2002 when two Spaniards made it to the French finals and only the third time in the tournaments history.
Clearly Spain couldn’t be prouder of both players and pleased that they are bringing Spain much needed positive attention and enhancing the country’s image abroad.