David Ferrer is the worker bee of the top-10-ranked men in the game.
The third-seeded Ferrer won his 24th match of 28 played this year Wednesday at the Sony Open. It is the most matches won by any player on the ATP Tour this year — taking a 4-6, 6-3, 6-0 win over unseeded Jurgen Melzer to advance to the semifinals.
Ferrer already has won two titles this season: Auckland, New Zealand, on hardcourt and Buenos Aires on clay. He also has reached the final in Acapulco, Mexico, and the semifinals at Doha, Qatar, and the Australian Open.
All that success and the fifth-ranked Ferrer could be the least talked-about player ranked among the elite of the game. The second-ranked of seven Spaniards ranked in the top 50 — he’s right behind fourth-ranked Rafael Nadal — he’s a nice, polite and quiet soul who just goes about his business.
The fact that girls aren’t screaming at him like they do with Nadal or he isn’t always scheduled for main stadium matches to the later rounds doesn’t faze him one bit.
“I’m very happy with my, with my career of tennis, with the press to me,” Ferrer said. “I don’t mind a lot I am more important player or not. I am trying to do my best to win matches. And I like [playing] tennis and it is my job.”
In 2012, Ferrer won a career-best, tour-leading seven titles in eight finals played. A versatile player, Ferrer won titles on three surfaces last year: clay, hardcourt and grass. He also posted his best overall results at the Grand Slams, reaching the semifinals at the French Open and U.S. Open, and the quarterfinals at the Australian Open and Wimbledon.
Ferrer, 30, is no stranger to success in South Florida. This is his 11th time playing this tournament and he now has a 24-10 record here.
“I like this tournament,” he said. “I played very good this tournament. I made two semifinals [2005 and ’06], two quarterfinals [2011 and 2012], and now I am in the third semifinal.”
A player who is not as confident with his English as many other players who come from countries where English isn’t the first language, Ferrer considers Miami a favorite tour stop.
“It’s easy for the Spanish players because we can speak the Spanish language and we have all the facilities outside,” Ferrer said. “I like the city, and we have the beach and we have some friends here also. It’s very comfortable to be here.”
Ferrer started the match with a 2-0 lead but couldn’t hold on to the advantage, allowing Melzer to take control of the first set. Ferrer evened the score by taking the second set and then owned the third set, losing only two points on serve — and nine points overall — in the final set.
“I was a little bit nervous in the first set and part of the second, but I tried to fight every point, to be focused, and I had a good feeling in the [end] of the second set and, of course, in the third one,” he said.
In the House
The Bravo TV show The Real Housewives of Miami filmed at the Sony Open on Wednesday.
Housewife and model/actress Joanna Krupa, who doesn’t quite fit the bill as a wife, came to the tennis with her fiancé of five years, Romain Zago, who owns Mynt Lounge on Collins Avenue.
The couple sat in the front row, watching Maria Sharapova defeat Sara Errani 7-5, 7-5.