Ferrero arrives in Melbourne following his most successful season ever in 2003.
World ranking: 3
Australian Open best:
2001: 2nd round
The Spaniard finally made the transition from rising star to Grand Slam winner, sweeping through the field at the French Open.
He followed that by stunning Andre Agassi in the US Open semi-finals before falling to Andy Roddick, but that run gave him the world number one ranking for the first time.
The year ended in disappointment, however, as he lost the top spot to Roddick and then was beaten in both his singles matches in Spain's Davis Cup final defeat to Australia.
Nonetheless, the 23-year-old has the game to take on anyone from the baseline, with a rock-solid backhand and a mighty forehand that is among the best around.
Ferrero complained towards the end of last season that he needed a break and fatigue could yet prove to be his biggest handicap in Melbourne.