FEDEX RELIABILITY ZONE
FedEx Reliability Zone: Impressive Indoors
FedEx Reliability Zone: Current Indoor Records
by James Buddell|
David Ferrer, who won an ATP World Tour-best seven titles and 76 matches this season, leads the FedEx ATP Reliability Index with a 16-2 record (.889), the best winning percentage in indoor matches. The World No. 5 won back-to-back ATP World Tour indoor titles at the Valencia Open 500 and BNP Paribas Masters in Paris.
Speaking to ATPWorldTour.com, Wilander outlined the biggest difference in Ferrer’s game compared to 2011. “His serve has improved drastically,” said the Swede, who will compete at next month's Statoil Masters Tennis in London. “I don’t think he has necessarily improved his technique or his pace, but his mindset is more, ‘I need to win free points on my serve, so I am going to go for it’, which is what [Rafael] Nadal did too.
"Ferrer is also playing smarter and constructive. He is probably the most constructive player out there right now. He gets the most out of his game and I think if there was a ranking for someone who is reaching his potential, then David Ferrer would be World No. 1. He plays to his natural strength, which is smart foot movement to seize control. If that doesn’t work, he keeps at it but reins himself back and doesn’t go for as much. He is a pain for other players to play. And that is one of his key strengths. I feel every player, including Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer, Andy Murray, has something to learn from Ferrer. He is as ferocious and competitive as you can find.
“In 2012, I think the big difference was that he got a little closer to the Top 4 – maybe not at the majors in three out of five sets, but in regular matches. That has given him confidence. To feel that you have got closer to the Top 4 in your early 30s, compared to what you were three years ago must give him a lot of confidence. It seems like it has. He seems comfortable being a great player, a star, the World No. 5, with a chance to beat the Top 4.”
The player who Ferrer beat in the Paris final, Jerzy Janowicz of Poland, went 14-4 overall at tour-level this year. He compiled a 12-2 record indoors (.857), which included wins over Murray and Janko Tipsarevic in the French capital. Wilander marvels at his game, but asks, “First of all, ‘where has he been?’ When you have a game like that, you have to ask that question.
"Secondly, it is great that he is 22 and he has taken the past four years to play Challengers and to hone his skills. I don’t think anyone will know where he is at. That is what I like. He is not a Milos Raonic or John Isner. This is a guy who serves massive, hits drop shots. He is good enough and creative enough that players won’t get used to him. He will win and fall with his confidence. He can beat anyone, but the big test will be three of five sets. Then, we’ll learn more.”
Juan Martin del Potro finished 2012 at No. 3 in the FedEx ATP Reliability Index for the best indoor winning record (20-4, .833). He won the most indoor matches of any player and lifted three indoor trophies at the Open 13 in Marseille (d. Llodra), Swiss Indoors Basel (d. Federer) and the Erste Bank Open in Vienna (d. Zemlja). "It was great to see del Potro go close to his top form and back to full health,” said Wilander. “By becoming fitter, he has become mentally stronger and grew in confidence throughout the season. He uses his serve effectively to open up the court and looked better moving forwards to the net. Some of his late season match wins proved to me that he is capable of threatening to the Top 4 in future.”
Other players that feature in the Top 10 for the best winning record in indoor matches include Djokovic (5-1, .833, one indoor title), Uladzimir Ignatik (4-1, .800), Tomas Berdych (18-5, .783, two indoor titles), Mikhail Youzhny (13-4, .765, one indoor title), Juan Monaco (6-2, .750, one indoor title), Federer (11-4, .733, one indoor title) and Raonic (11-4, .733, one indoor title).
[Editor: updates made after the conclusion of the 2012 Davis Cup final]
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