Happy birthday Wayne Ferreira!
As a junior player Ferreira was ranked world no. 1 junior doubles player and no. 6 junior singles player. He won the junior doubles title at the US Open in 1989.
Wayne turned professional in 1989 and won his first ATP doubles title in Adelaide in 1991.
1992 was Ferreira’s breakthrough year on the tour. He started out by reaching the semifinals of the Australian Open. In June he won his first ATP singles title at Queen’s Club, London. His second singles title came just a few weeks later at Schenectady, New York. He also teamed-up with compatriot Piet Norval to win the men’s doubles silver medal for South Africa at the 1992 Olympic Games in Barcelona.
After a quieter year in 1993 in which he didn’t win any singles titles, Ferreira came back strongly in 1994 to win a career-best five singles titles. He then won another four events in 1995.
The biggest titles of Ferreira’s career came at Toronto in 1996 and Stuttgart in 2000 (both Tennis Masters Series events).
Ferreira teamed-up with Amanda Coetzer in 2000 to win the Hopman Cup for South Africa.
Ferreira is second (to Roger Federer’s record 61) for the most consecutive Grand Slam tournament appearances in men’s tennis. He participated in 56 consecutive Grand Slams between the 1991 Australian Open and the 2004 US Open. Ferreira’s best Grand Slam results came at the Australian Open – where he reached the semi-finals twice in 1992 and 2003.
During his career, he won 15 top-level singles titles and 11 doubles titles. His career-high rankings were world no. 6 in singles (in May 1995) and world n. 9 in doubles (in March 2001). His career prize-money earnings totalled $9,969,617.
Though Ferreira retired from the professional tour in 2005, he still plays on the Outback Champions Series senior tour. He finished both 2006 and 2007 fourth on points in that series. He is now residing in Lafayette, California. Ferreira is currently president and CEO of EcoloBlue, Life and Energy, an environmental and renewable resources corporation based in Miami, Florida and Lafayette, California.
He is one of few players with a positive record against Roger Federer. Ferreira teamed up with Federer in the men’s doubles at Wimbledon in 2001. They got to the third round and were due to face Donald Johnson and Jared Palmer (the eventual champions) before Federer withdrew to focus on his singles campaign.