Juan Carlos Ferrero knows what it takes to win a Davis Cup by BNP Paribas Final, having been part of the Spanish teams that clinched the title in 2000 and 2004, but the former world No. 1 thinks his country has a tough task to defeat Czech Republic on their own turf.
The Spaniard, who played his last competitive match in Valencia earlier this week, was instrumental in leading Spain to their first Davis Cup title in 2000, when he defeated both Patrick Rafter and Lleyton Hewitt at the Palau Sant Jordi in Barcelona, but when asked what he thought of his team’s chances on 16-18 November he remained guarded.
“In Prague I think it is very difficult to win,” he said. “Obviously Spain will be very motivated; Spain knows what it is to go out of the country and win a title like in Argentina last time, but the conditions will be very different, the court will be very fast and Berdych is playing very good and Stepanek has a lot of experience so it’s going to be tough.”
And when asked to reflect on his own achievements throughout an illustrious career that saw him win Roland Garros in 2003 and finish runner-up at the US Open later that year, Davis Cup remained a highlight.
“I think Davis Cup changed me a lot. When I played in 2000 I was 20 and for me it was very important, I was very young and I didn’t have very much experience on the court in these kinds of matches,” he explained.
“After winning the first Davis Cup for Spain my life changed a lot and I started to feel good on the court and I started to feel a little bit different than before. I thought I could play these difficult matches with a lot of pressure. I think Davis Cup helped me a lot to grow up as a player.”
Ferrero is sure to keep a close eye on the game of tennis, with his tennis academy and as tournament director in Valencia, and something he has not ruled out is leading a Davis Cup team as captain further down the line.
“The truth is that (being a captain) would be really nice for a player that has been able to live so many good experiences in Davis Cup. One thing is clear, I will be involved in the tennis world, it’s impossible not to when all your life has been tennis. Now I will take it in a more relaxed way, and once I recover my strength, it’s possible that you see me again on the courts.”