While the tennis world is anxiously awaiting the return of injured
duo Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray, former French Open champion Ferrero
reckons it's the younger generation that will pose the real threat to
the big two's current dominance.
"Zverev is very competitive and results have arrived sooner than
expected," Ferroro told ibtimes.co.uk.
"He is a top world player so far
and during the last part of the season he focused on the mental side in
order to cope with pressure.
"He is number four in the ATP rankings and they now begin to see him
as a potential number one. Because he is able to make it. We are working
a lot on that side of him, so far Zverev has not had to face this
aspect of the game."
Ferrero is working alongside Zverev at Equelite, the sport academy in Alicante where he grew up.
He is also working with US Open finalist Pablo Carreno, another young player he is tipping for big things.
"As for Pablo, he is playing superb tennis and during his last
season, bravery made a difference. He has set higher goals and he has
proven to himself that he can compete against the best players in the
world. If he keeps on with the hard job, he will give us very big
moments the next season.
Despite another year ticking off on the calendar for veterans Nadal
and Federer, Ferrero doesn't see them becoming a spent force in 2018.
"You cannot be surprised with Rafa. He is one of the greatest in
tennis history and his fighting capability is simply unbelievable,"
"This year he has been playing more aggressively, his
tennis is more straight forward, he is adapting his game style and he
has been able to enjoy himself again on the court. A tennis player of
his level is constantly trying to adapt and improve.
"We are going to see a very competitive season. As I said before, the
big four will have to face the newcomers, the young players who are
currently in the top 10 who want to remain there for a long time. And
let's not forget players like Stan Wawrinka or Kei Nishikori, who have
been injured for some months. It is going to be a tough season for all
Even Federer - if he continues to manage his schedule properly - could still perform next season, Ferrero said.
"Federer knows himself better than anyone, he knows where his limits
are and he cherry-picks his calendar based on his knowledge on himself.
One of the keys for last season's success might be that Roger Federer
has focused more on enjoying than on simply winning. He is no longer
carrying such a burden on his shoulders."