Tommy Robredo has managed to take down a living legend…
In the fourth round, the 31-year-old Spanish tennis player defeated former World No. 1 Roger Federer, a five-time champion at the US Open, in straight sets to reach the quarterfinals at Flushing Meadows.
Federer’s loss is the being hailed as the “shock” of the tournament, and one of the shocks of the year.
The score – 7-6 (3), 6-4, 6-4 in just two hours and 24 minutes – was as uplifting for Robredo, ranked No. 22 in the world, as it was dispiriting for Federer. He looked devastated as he left for the locker room, appreciative of the consoling applause but left again to wonder if he’ll ever return to the top of the mountain, or even close to it.
The defeat goes alongside Rafael Nadal‘s first-round exit at Wimbledon and Federer’s own departure there two days later. So the hugely anticipated quarterfinal showdown between Nadal and Federer – they have never met at Flushing Meadows – is no more.
Robredo, only a year younger than Federer and who has lost in the fourth round seven times in 12 visits to New York, broke and held at the start of the match, dropped serve then rediscovered his composure under the weight of a sustained fightback by the world No 7.
Federer had not lost to Robredo in 10 encounters and, in all that time, had never gotten behind. He had dropped just three of their 27 sets, and the only time he had lost a tiebreak to him was in Vienna 11 years ago. His dominance was unquestioned.
“I struggled throughout,” Federer said afterwards. “Tommy did a good job to keep the ball in play and make it difficult for me today I missed so many opportunities. [My] rhythm was off.”
Robredo next faces Nadal in the quarterfinals.