Seemingly destined to be remembered as a nearly man, David Ferrer must look at Lleyton Hewitt's achievements with envy.
Had the Spaniard arrived on the tennis scene a few years earlier, he could easily have had a similar career.
After first announcing himself to the tennis world in the late 1990s, Hewitt hit his peak early last decade when he won the US Open and Wimbledon crowns and spent more than a year as the world's number one player.
The plucky Australian with no big weapons in his game but a willingness to run down every ball and scrap from the first point to the last, timed his rise to the top to perfection as he cashed in between the Pete Sampras-Andre Agassi era and the Roger Federer-Rafael Nadal one that followed.
Ferrer was not quite as fortunate, turning professional in 2000 in the year he turned 18.
Unlike Hewitt, who rose to the top at the tail end of Sampras and Agassi's careers, by the time Ferrer had become a regular top-20 player it was 2005 and Federer was already dominating the game.
In the years that followed Nadal would also burst onto the scene to provide Federer with his greatest competition for many seasons, with current number one Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray joining them in the upper echelons in more recent years.
Through it all, Ferrer has been the same consistent player who like Hewitt doggedly fights for every point and attempts to chase down every ball, but he has a losing record against each member of the quartet ahead of him.
Against Djokovic it is 5-11 and in head-to-head matches against Federer it is a horrible 0-15, while he trails fellow Spaniard Nadal 5-17 - with Ferrer's win at the 2011 Australian Open coming after Nadal injured a hamstring - and is 5-6 against Murray.
After cruising past Japan's Kei Nishikori on Sunday to reach the quarter-finals, where he will take a 12-0 record in against fellow Spaniard Nicolas Almagro, Ferrer played the underdog card when talk turned to his chances of winning the event and competing with the top four.
"(It) is very difficult for to win a grand slam because there are the top four (and) in this moment, the last three or four years, they are better than the other players," Ferrer conceded.
"But I am not thinking about if I have the chance to win a grand slam, I am only focused with every match I will play.
"I think the top four they are better, it's my opinion, but I am trying to do my best every match.
"I am trying to win every match anyway, top four, top 10, or top 100."
Ferrer presents as a humble person and did not appear too downcast when he made the suggestion he does not feel like he can consistently compete with Djokovic, Federer, Nadal and Murray.
He would appear to have accepted his lot in life that he can be a consistent top-10 player, win a handful of tournaments along the way and travel the world playing the game he loves.
But he would surely love to have been born five years earlier and been able to capitalise on the opportunities that Hewitt did for a couple of years soon after the turn of the century.