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Can David Ferrer and Gael Monfils Upset the Balance at the US Open?

Posted on July 26, 2011 by Pete South

David Ferrer will look to break the hold of the "big three" in men's tennis.

Ignoring Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic, and Rafael Nadal in the build-up to the US Open might seem like tennis heresy, but it’s a worthy gambit, if only to turn the spotlight on the other players in the top ten of the ATP World Singles Rankings.

Spain’s David Ferrer, for example, is ranked sixth in the world, but is 80/1 in the US Open 2011 tennis odds, making him a rank outsider.

However, Ferrer reached the semi-final at the Australian Open, earlier this year and recently guided Spain to victory against the USA in the Davis Cup, where he beat world number nine Mardy Fish in the longest four-set match in the tournament’s history.

Ferrer has a supporter in Roger Federer, who referred to the Spaniard as “the best returner in the game […], together with Nadal”.

Directly underneath Ferrer on the ATP World Singles Rankings is the Frenchman, Gael Monfils. The Paris-born player has enjoyed moderate success in the Grand Slams, excelling at his home event, the French Open. His performance at the US Open is improving; fourth round exits in 2008 and 2009, followed by a quarter final appearance at last year’s event. People will be wondering if he can improve at the Betfair US Open 2011.

The two players, Monfils and Ferrer, are known for their defensive style of play, preferring to wear their opponents down, and then capitalise on their errors. The downside of this approach is that they can be caught out by ‘net players’, such as Federer, who will attempt to draw their opponents away from the rear of the court by hitting short balls. They could cause some upsets.

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