Fourteen years ago at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia, David Ferrer recorded his first ATP World Tour Masters 1000 match win when he recovered from a first-set bagel to stun World No. 1 Andre Agassi 0-6, 7-6(3), 6-4. On Tuesday, the 35-year-old Spaniard celebrated another memorable moment in Rome. He defeated Feliciano Lopez to earn his place alongside 12 other players, including Agassi, in the ATP World Tour’s exclusive 700-wins club.
Of his victories, a quarter of which have come at the Masters 1000 level (178-111), Ferrer picked his triumph at the 2012 Tennis Paris Masters as the most memorable. That week in Paris-Bercy, he posted back-to-back wins over Stan Wawrinka and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga before defeating Jerzy Janowicz for the title.
Ferrer, who also reached six other finals at this elite level, reflected on his Masters 1000 highlights and favourites in this exclusive Q&A with ATPWorldTour.com.
Tribute: Ferrer Records 700th Match Win In Rome
Why are the ATP World Tour Masters 1000 so special?
There are really good matches from the first round. A Top 15 player can face a Top 10 in the opening round. Regardless of the round, there aren’t easy matches for the seeded players.
Which is your favourite Masters 1000 tournament?
My favourite Masters 1000 is Monte Carlo because of its history, organisation and beauty of the club. The centre court is amazing. You’re stunned looking at it. [It’s] my favourite Masters 1000 court.
Which Masters 1000 tournament has the loudest fans?
What was your best Masters 1000 match?
Well, definitely not the Miami final (in 2013). I lost against Andy Murray after having match point. I would say the Masters 1000 final I won in Paris-Bercy. It was a great opportunity for me. I was a little bit nervous because all the top seeds had been knocked out. I feel proud for having assumed that with serenity. It was a match for me to win, and I won.
Who is the strongest competitor in Masters 1000 history?
Rafael Nadal, no doubt. His numbers speaks for themselves.
Which is the Masters 1000 you would most like to win?
Right now, I would like to win the Mutua Madrid Open because my inner circle would be around me. It would be an special occasion. It is played in Spain and some people who are close to me could come. It would be a great moment to share with them.
Which is the most player-friendly Masters 1000?
Monte Carlo. Everything is within reach, the organisation is very precise, it is a spectacular tournament. Being held in a small city, everything is easier for the players.
Which player would you have liked to play against in a Masters 1000?
It would have been great to face Marcelo Ríos on the centre court of Miami.
What is your dream match at a Masters 1000?
My dream match would be to win a Masters 1000 against Rafael Nadal or Roger Federer because they are the two best players of history.
What is the greatest match you’ve ever watched at a Masters 1000?
Rafael Nadal with Andre Agassi in Montreal (2005).