Crowned champion in Doha, David Ferrer will be primed to impress at this year’s Australian Open. The Spaniard, who is a two-time semi-finalist in Melbourne, will begin his run against Brazil’s Thomaz Bellucci, whom he faced on six previous occasions. Ferrer leads the head-to-head series 5-1 and will look to maintain that stranglehold over their rivalry this week.
Following an 11-month dry spell, David Ferrer kicked off his 2-15 season in sublime fashion with a title win at the Qatar ExxonMobil Open. The Spaniard, who had not won a title since Buenos Aires last February, defeated Tomas Berdych 6-4, 7-5 in 1 hour and 29 minutes. Now, his 22nd ATP World Tour title, he will prepare to make a deep run at the Happy Slam.
“I’m very happy,” said Ferrer. “I put in hard work this preseason. It’s special winning this tournament. I was ready to play tonight’s match against Berdych – a Top 10 player.”
World No. 62 Thomaz Bellucci has only played one professional match this season. His lone outing took place against eventual tournament champion Jiri Vesely in Auckland. The left-hander will now look to overcome that loss with a staggering upset win over Ferrer.
This marks the seventh time these two competitors meet on the professional tour, with Ferrer leading the head-to-head series 5-1. The Spaniard has also won the last three consecutive meetings dating back to 2012, with the only loss coming on clay in Monte Carlo. Ferrer also happens to be 2-0 against Bellucci on hard courts and has never lost a set to the Brazilian on that surface. Given those lopsided stats, there is little doubt that Ferrer will excel in his opening match at the Australian Open.
Prediction: David Ferrer in Straight Sets