Welcome to this week's edition of "Hot Shots," a USOpen.org-curated look at what you may have missed on social media over the past seven days. This week, we feature a symbolic gesture from David Ferrer, a set of off-court wheels in Stuttgart, Germany, and a behind-the-scenes look at Tennis Channel filming.
David Ferrer’s Grand Slam career ended at the 2018 US Open, where he fell to countryman Rafael Nadal in Round 1. The 37-year-old Spaniard, who is set to play his final tournament this May at the Madrid Open, faced Nadal for the 32nd time on Thursday in the Barcelona Open Round of 16. On Pista Rafael Nadal, it was the show court’s namesake who got the victory, 6-3, 6-3.
After the match, Ferrer left his head tie on the ‘T’ of the red clay court, a symbol of the blood, sweat and tears that he has put into his 19-year career.
Ferrer, a Davis Cup regular for Spain throughout his career, told Spanish news outlet Marca of his desire to captain his country post-retirement. He also expressed an interest in working with young players, before potentially coaching on the ATP Tour in the long-term future.
If he does find himself back at the top level, he may end up coaching in Turin, Italy—the city announced by the ATP as the new location for its year-end finals, from 2021. The move will end what will be a 12-year stint in London’s O2 arena, the competition’s home since 2009, and will bring the roving event to Italy for the first time.
The WTA Tour, meanwhile, is focused on the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix, an International-level event in Stuttgart. And with the German automaker as the title sponsor, there is no shortage of car-related hijinks.
And finally, Craig O’Shannessy, a pioneer in tennis analytics, takes us behind the scenes for his Tennis Channel shoot. The Australian coach, who was previously featured in a USOpen.org analytics primer, has recently performed a deep dive into clay-court data and unearthed some counterintuitive conclusions about play on the red (or green) dirt.