FLASHBACK: "The moment was not right" - David Ferrer announces split from Zverev


Think 40-year-old David Ferrer has slowed down at all since his retirement?

After hanging up his racquets in 2019, the Spaniard has taken on numerous challenges: he took over as tournament director of the Barcelona Open, he was previously the coach of Olympic gold medalist Alexander Zverev and he did a stint as a commentator during ATP Acapulco—in addition to heading up two tennis academies in Valencia.

Now, the former world No. 3 is training for his next big challenge: a grueling seven-day desert cycling race in Morocco.

“The feeling that I get with cycling, the ability to easily disconnect, I’ve never felt that before,” Ferrer told Spanish cycling equipment company CDC Sport. “Let’s say that with cycling, I feel free. Although it does have one thing in common with tennis: that feeling of being able to enjoy suffering.”

Ferrer will probably be doing a lot of that in Morocco, as this race is not one for the faint of heart. The Titan Desert Mountain Bike Race typically takes riders through the Atlas mountains and Sahara desert in a multi-stage 600 km (373 miles) journey. According to the race profile, riders should be prepared to navigate more than 7000 m (4.5 miles) of ascent, as well as bivouac overnight in remote locations.


But that’s part of the fun for Ferrer, who took up cycling in earnest a few months following his 2019 retirement. Originally a laidback way to unwind and spend time with friends, the Spaniard found he has enjoyed a different kind of physical challenge—and he’s taking it seriously too, with a number of cycling sponsors getting regular shout outs on his Instagram page.

After wrapping up his duties as tournament director in Barcelona, which starts on April 18, Ferrer will be lining up for the desert race in Morocco, which kicks off on May 8. After that, he is also registered for the 200 km (124 miles) Quebrantahuesos race in June.

Fun fact: “Quebrantahuesos” means “bone-crusher” in Spanish, so it’s safe to say Ferrer won’t be taking it easy there either.