David Ferrer might have had more Grand Slam success if Rafael Nadal were not playing tennis, but the 30-year-old US Open semi-finalist is happier to have Nadal on the court than a higher ranking.
"I think Rafael is very, very important for us because he's the best player in the history of Spain and one of the best of the world," Ferrer said.
"I don't care if without Rafael I was the No. 1 of Spain, because I think I learn a lot with him, being close to him.
"I think in Spain people are looking more at tennis because of Rafael in these moments, and I think it's very good for us (and) for the other players."
Ferrer matched his best Grand Slam showing by reaching the last four on the Flushing Meadows hardcourts on Thursday by defeating Serbian eighth seed Janko Tipsarevic 6-3, 6-7 (5/7), 2-6, 6-3, 7-6 (7/4) in four hours and 31 minutes.
Nadal, who missed the US Open this year with a knee injury, is staying in touch with his compatriot by telephone and e-mail.
"I talk with Rafa these days, like text, private conversation," Ferrer said. "Of course Rafael is always happy when I win matches. If I will win Saturday I will talk with him for sure.
"He texted me today. He say, 'Good luck'. Nothing special."
Ferrer says he owes a lot of his success to having learned from Nadal.
"I learn a lot of him," Ferrer said. "I learned mentality, and he's a very, very great person. He's one of the best and he's a normal person."