David Ferrer determined to defend ASB Classic title in 13th tournament appearance

Spanish Tennis star David Ferrer is back in Auckland to defend his men's ASB Classic title.

The 35-year-old has established himself as a fan favourite in New Zealand, having played in the City of Sails 13 times during his career, as he looks to win a record fifth title.

He comes into the tournament ranked 37th in the world after a challenging 2017 season, but that hasn't hindered his confidence ahead of what could potentially be his last time playing in Auckland.

"I feel good, really happy to come back again to Auckland one more time," said Ferrer.

"I always appreciate being here. I don't know how many more times I'll be here, but for me, I'll try to enjoy this week.

"Of course, Auckland is different because I have won it four times and for me, this is special if I had the chance to win the tournament.

"But I want to go step by step, it's not my goal if I win or lose, it's to play the first round against a new player and I'll do my best."

When Ferrer was at the peak of his talents, he was ranked as high as third in the world. The Spaniard was renowned for his counterpunching style of play as well as his unique fighting spirit.

But times have changed in tennis, and that has forced Ferrer to change the way he plays and become more aggressive on the court to keep up with the young talent rising through the ranks. 

"Tennis is changing every year, it's improving. I know now I don't have the same fitness, but I have to do different things, like play more aggressively in moments, improve the consistency with my serve.

"I accept that, I'm 35 years old, I have been in the top 10, top 20 for a lot of years and now I appreciate that. Maybe last year I was frustrated about my ranking.

"Now I am positive because I'm still motivated to improve my ranking and that's important. I have different pressures, because I don't have the same ranking I had two years ago, but I have different things and I will try to enjoy my new position."


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