What have been the most one-sided matches in the latter stages of Open era Grand Slams? (PART 1)- View: 5407 by Jovica Ilic
Throughout the tennis history, Grand Slam tournaments have been the stage of some biggest and most glorious moments in our beloved sport. That was particularly displayed in the latter stages, from the 4th round onward, as some of the best matches in history were seen in the second week of Slams.
Nevertheless, this analyze serves to highlight those opposite situations, when the encounters in the closing stages of big tournaments failed to bring the necessary excitement and attraction. The reasons behind these matches can be various, as the players maybe had to go through a marathon in the previous round, not having the best day on the court, or if they are simply outplayed by the rival. The analyze is quite simple, it trace the most one-sided Grand Slam matches in the Open era starting from the 4th round, and to make the list, the winner had to lose no more than 4 games in the 4th round, 5 games in the quarter-final, 6 in the semis and 7 in the title matches.
Also, we counted only the finished matches, not those that ended with a retirement or default. So far, between 1968-2016, we had exactly 101 matches that fit these criteria, 21 at Australian Open, 41 at Roland Garros, 14 at Wimbledon and 25 at US Open.
As was expected, 47 matches were played on clay, 30 on hard courts and 24 on grass, and when we go towards the final it was harder and harder to enter the list. 28 matches were seen in the 4th round and quarter-final each, then 26 in the semis and another 19 in the battles for the crown.
The 4th rounds started with 8 matches on clay (19 on clay in total), mostly at Roland Garros but also at US Open in that short period while it was played on Har-Tru clay (1975-77). 17 matches came in Paris (including the first and the last), and this fit was most difficult to achieve on grass, as only Jimmy Connors, Mark Edmondson, and Stefan Edberg won the 4th round encounters on the fastest surface with 4 or fewer games dropped.
Edberg did that in 1987, and it is hard to expect that again, knowing how well the players are serving today. It never happened at the Australian Open since switching to hard in 1988, and we trace 6 at the US Open from 1978 when they installed the hard courts at Flushing Meadows.
Also, since 1987 Rolland Garros, this kind of matches have been constantly played in Paris and New York alternately. In the quarter-final rounds, when there are only 8 players left in the chase for the title, we had 28 matches when the defeated player was unable to win more than 5 games.
Interestingly, the list starts with 3 matches on grass, out of 8 we had so far on that surface, much more than in the 4th round. 10 of those came at the US Open, 5 in the second part of the 70's alone. Australia witnessed 7 one-sided men's quarter-final clashes, while Wimbledon stayed on 4, with a big break between 1989 and 2012.
Roland Garros managed to stay away from this list until 1980, but he had 5 there since 1999 so it the most common Slam with 7 one-sided matches in total. Today, it is hard to expect a Grand Slam quarter-final where the losing player will be that bad and unable to take more than 4 games, but we will see what futures bring.
Since 1968, there were 25 Grand Slam semi-finals where the real battle stayed away, as the beaten player couldn't win more than 6 games. It was mainly the case at Roland Garros (10), but Australian Open is just behind with 9 (3 on grass).
It was almost the mission impossible to achieve this at the US Open, Lleyton Hewitt and Juan Martin del Potro are the only players who did that, and we had 4 at Wimbledon, with Federer winning such a match way back in 2006 against Bjorkman.
Almost half of the list belongs to the period between 1977-1986, thanks to Bjorn Borg, Ivan Lendl, and Guillermo Vilas. 19 times in the Grand Slam finals losing player failed to take more than 7 games, which is a solid number considering how hard is to accomplish that.
For example, the winner has to win by 6-3 6-2 6-2 and that leaves no room for any relaxation. Between 1970 and 1991 we had such finals at least in every 3rd season, and then 4 occurred in 3 consecutive years, from 2002-04. The last one was at Roland Garros 2008 when Nadal demolished Federer, and it will be interesting to see when the next will come.
Until 1984, all those finals happened on natural surfaces, 5 in Paris and 4 in London, but from 1986-1998 we had one-sided finals only on the hard court. When we talk about the players, Bjorn Borg is on the throne with 10 such victories.
His concentration and focus during the matches were second to none, keeping a high level no matter what is happening around him. Baseline dominators, Connors, Lendl, and Nadal are on 8 (Nadal won 5 between 2012-14), with Guillermo Vilas standing on 7 (he won one-sided final, and two more matches in each of the other rounds).
On the next page, you can find the lists with uninteresting matches in the 4th round or quarter-finals of Grand Slam events since 1968, and the rest of the piece is dedicated to entertaining little stories about them. 1/8:
1968 Roland Garros / Clay / Tomas Koch vs Francois Jauffret / 6-1 6-1 6-1 / 3 1968 Roland Garros / Clay / Rod Laver vs Bob Carmichael / 6-0 6-1 6-1 / 2 1969 Roland Garros / Clay / Ken Rosewall vs Istvan Gulyas / 6-1 6-2 6-1 / 4 1974 Roland Garros / Clay / Harold Solomon vs Marty Riessen / 6-2 6-1 6-1 / 4 1975 US Open / Clay / Jaime Fillol vs Karl Meiler / 6-1 6-1 6-2 / 4 1975 US Open / Clay / Guillermo Vilas vs Jan Kodes / 6-2 6-0 6-0 / 2 1976 Roland Garros / Clay / Raul Ramirez vs Bernard Mignot / 6-2 6-1 6-1 / 4 1977 Roland Garros / Clay / Guillermo Vilas vs Stan Smith / 6-1 6-2 6-1 / 4 1978 US Open / Hard / Bjorn Borg vs Harold Solomon / 6-2 6-2 6-0 / 4 1979 Wimbledon / Grass / Jimmy Connors vs Marc Cox / 6-2 6-1 6-1 / 4 1980 Roland Garros / Clay / Bjorn Borg vs Balasz Taroczy / 6-2 6-2 6-0 / 4 1980 Roland Garros / Clay / Harold Solomon vs Brian Gottfried / 6-0 6-1 6-3 / 4 1980 US Open / Hard / Ivan Lendl vs Harold Solomon / 6-1 6-0 6-0 / 1 1981 Roland Garros / Clay / Bjorn Borg vs Terry Moore / 6-0 6-0 6-1 / 1 1981 Australian Open / Grass / Mark Edmondson vs Cliff Letcher / 6-1 6-0 6-3 / 4 1983 Roland Garros / Clay / Jimmy Connors vs Eric Fromm / 6-1 6-1 6-1 / 3 1985 Roland Garros / Clay / Ivan Lendl vs Aaron Krickstein / 6-2 6-2 6-0 / 4 1986 Roland Garros / Clay / Henri Leconte vs Horacio De La Pena / 6-1 6-2 6-1 / 4 1987 Australian Open / Grass / Stefan Edberg vs Roberto Seguso / 6-1 6-0 6-1 / 2 1987 Roland Garros / Clay / Miroslav Mecir vs Patrice Kuchna / 6-0 6-1 6-3 / 4 1988 US Open / Hard / Jimmy Connors vs Jorge Lozano / 6-1 6-2 6-0 / 3 2003 Roland Garros / Clay / Juan Carlos Ferrero vs Felix Mantilla / 6-2 6-1 6-1 / 4 2006 US Open / Hard / Mikhail Youzhny vs Tommy Robredo / 6-2 6-0 6-1 / 3 2008 Roland Garros / Clay / Rafael Nadal vs Fernando Verdasco / 6-1 6-0 6-2 / 3 2011 US Open / Hard / Roger Federer vs Juan Monaco / 6-1 6-2 6-0 / 3 2012 Roland Garros / Clay / Rafael Nadal vs Juan Monaco / 6-2 6-0 6-0 / 2 2013 US Open / Hard / Novak Djokovic vs Marcel Granollers / 6-3 6-0 6-0 / 3 2014 Roland Garros / Clay / Rafael Nadal vs Dusan Lajovic / 6-1 6-2 6-1 / 41/4:
1969 Australian Open / Grass / Andres Gimeno vs Butch Buchholz / 6-1 6-2 6-1 / 4 1971 Australian Open / Grass / Bob Lutz vs Mark Cox / 6-2 6-1 6-2 / 5 1972 Wimbledon / Grass / Manuel Orantes vs Colin Dibley / 6-2 6-0 6-2 / 4 1975 US Open / Clay / Jimmy Connors vs Andrew Pattison / 6-2 6-1 6-2 / 5 1975 US Open / Clay / Guillermo Vilas vs Jaime Fillol / 6-4 6-0 6-1 / 5 1976 Wimbledon / Grass / Bjorn Borg vs Guillermo Vilas / 6-3 6-0 6-2 / 5 1977 US Open / Clay / Guillermo Vilas vs Ray Moore / 6-1 6-1 6-0 / 2 1977 US Open / Clay / Corrado Barazzutti vs Brian Gottfried / 6-2 6-1 6-2 / 5 1978 US Open / Hard / Vitas Gerulaitis vs Johan Kriek / 6-2 6-1 6-2 / 5 1979 US Open / Hard / Jimmy Connors vs Pat Du Pre / 6-2 6-1 6-1 / 4 1980 Roland Garros / Clay / Jimmy Connors vs Hans Gildemeister / 6-4 6-0 6-0 / 4 1982 Australian Open / Grass / Johan Kriek vs Drew Gitlin / 6-0 6-4 6-1 / 5 1983 Australian Open / Grass / John McEnroe vs Wally Masur / 6-2 6-1 6-2 / 5 1988 US Open / Hard / Ivan Lendl vs Derrick Rostagno / 6-2 6-2 6-0 / 4 1989 Wimbledon / Grass / Boris Becker vs Paul Chamberlin / 6-1 6-2 6-0 / 3 1989 US Open / Hard / Ivan Lendl vs Tim Mayotte / 6-4 6-0 6-1 / 5 1991 Roland Garros / Clay / Andre Agassi vs Jakob Hlasek / 6-3 6-1 6-1 / 5 1992 US Open / Hard / Pete Sampras vs Alexander Volkov / 6-4 6-1 6-0 / 5 1993 Australian Open / Hard / Jim Courier vs Petr Korda / 6-1 6-0 6-4 / 5 1999 Roland Garros / Clay / Andre Agassi vs Marcelo Filippini / 6-2 6-2 6-0 / 4 1999 Roland Garros / Clay / Fernando Meligeni vs Alex Corretja / 6-2 6-2 6-0 / 4 2006 Australian Open / Hard / David Nalbandian vs Fabrice Santoro / 7-5 6-0 6-0 / 5 2008 Roland Garros / Clay / Rafael Nadal vs Nicolas Almagro / 6-1 6-1 6-1 / 3 2009 Australian Open / Hard / Roger Federer vs Juan Martin del Potro / 6-3 6-0 6-0 / 3 2009 Roland Garros / Clay / Robin Soderling vs Nikolay Davydenko / 6-1 6-3 6-1 / 5 2012 Wimbledon / Grass / Roger Federer vs Mikhail Youzhny / 6-1 6-2 6-2 / 5 2013 Roland Garros / Clay / David Ferrer vs Tommy Robredo / 6-2 6-1 6-1 / 4 2013 US Open / Hard / Rafael Nadal vs Tommy Robredo / 6-0 6-2 6-2 / 4On the next 3 pages, you can read some interesting stories about these matches.. Right at the first Open era Grand Slam, in Paris 1968, we had 2 4th round matches where one player completely dominated from start to finish.
One of them was great Rod Laver, who later lost in the final to Rosewall, and it was Ken who did the similar thing in 1969. After that, there was a 5-years break, until American Harold Solomon repeated this task, again in Paris on slow clay.
In 1975 the action moved to a little bit different clay in New York, as Jaime Fillol and Guillermo Vilas stormed to beat their rivals in no time at all. Interestingly, Vilas destroyed Jan Kodes, 2-time Roland Garros champion, by 6-2 6-0 6-0.
Raul Ramirez and Guillermo Vilas claimed commanding wins in Paris in 1976 and 1977, so the first 8 encounters from this list happened on clay. In 1978, Bjorn Borg scored the first one-sided 4th round result outside clay, toppling Harold Solomon 6-2 6-2 6-0 in New York on hard, and Jimmy Connors was brutal at Wimbledon in 1979, upending Mark Cox 6-2 6-1 6-1.
Until today, that stayed the most impressive win at Wimbledon in the 4th round, with small chances to be repeated in the future. 20-year-old Ivan Lendl made the list in 1980 at the US Open, losing only one game against Harold Solomon for his first Grand Slam quarter-final.
Solomon won the opening game of the match but that was all he could do, as Ivan took the next 18 to seal the victory in under an hour and a half. Such an impressive result in the last 16 round of Grand Slam will be repeated only once, very next spring in Paris.
It was accomplished by who else than Bjorn Borg, en route to his 11th and last Grand Slam crown. The "victim" was Terry Moor, who never played against Bjorn again but who hoped at least for a decent defeat. In the end, he only just avoided the triple bagel, as Borg led 5-0 in the third set before he finally conceded that one game! After the match, Bjorn said that he didn't drop that game on purpose and that he would win it if he could.
Moor was, of course, impressed by his rival, saying that he can't see anybody stopping Borg if he continues to play on that level. Australian Open joins the list in 1981 when Mark Edmondson ousted Cliff Letcher 6-1 6-0 6-3, and the similar result will be seen only one more time in the land of down under, 6 years later.
In 1983, Jimmy Connors used his aggressive baseline game to dismiss Eric Fromm 6-1 6-1 6-1 in Paris, and Lendl followed him on the same tournament two years later. Ivan defeated young American Aaron Krickstein 6-2 6-2 6-0, and instead of long and interesting battle, the crowd could see Lendl at his best, especially in the second part of the match.
1987 was the last Australian Open played on grass, and Stefan Edberg showed all of his skills on this surface, destroying Robert Seguso 6-1 6-0 6-1 for the place in the last 8. The match lasted just 65 minutes, as Seguso was troubled by his knee, he had difficulties to move like he would want to and he made a lot of double faults.
Interestingly, this Slam moved to hard courts in 1988 and we never get a chance to see another one-sided 4th round match with no more than 4 games for the losing player. A few months later, Miloslav Mecir put his name on the list, easily beating Patrice Kuchna by 6-0 6-1 6-3.
The Frenchman was the 325th player in the world at that moment, and in the second round he knocked out a teenager Andre Agassi. Jimmy Connors had no mercy at the US Open in 1988, just a few days after his 36th birthday, ousting Jorge Lozano 6-1 6-2 6-0 to reach the quarter-final for the 15th time in the last 16 years! This win makes Jimmy the oldest player in this analyze who won such a commanding Grand Slam match at this phase.
He made 8 breaks and lost his serve just once, in the second game of the second set. We had to wait 15 years to see another one-sided 4th round match, as it was impossible to do in the chaotic 90's. The story brings us to the Roland Garros in 2003 and the all-Spanish battle between Juan Carlos Ferrero and Felix Mantilla.
Ferrero was unstoppable, winning the match 6-2 6-1 6-1 for his 7th win over Mantilla in as many matches. Juan Carlos, the future champion, scored 8 breaks and hit some 50 winners, while Felix stayed on modest 13. In 2006 we are back at the US Open when Mikhail Youzhny took down Tommy Robredo by 6-2 6-0 6-1.
Youzhny played out of this world tennis that year in New York and he sealed the deal in less than 80 minutes, breaking Spaniard 7 times. Mikhail won more than 60% of the return points and lost only 15 in his games for an impressive triumph.
In 2008 Nadal was on some different level at Roland Garros and in the 4th round, he dismissed his compatriot Fernando Verdasco by 6-1 6-0 6-2, despite the fact that encounter lasted almost 2 hours. At one point there was 50 minutes break due to rain, but even that couldn't help Fernando, who was unable find the way to penetrate Nadal, no matter how much he tried.
Nadal won 10 games in a row at some point and he recovered quickly after being broken at the start of the 3rd set to close the match soon after that. 3 years later Roger Federer needed 82 minutes to defeat Juan Monaco in the 4th round of the US Open, in 6-1 6-2 6-0 triumph.
Roger kept his serve easily, never facing a break point, and he took Monaco's serve 7 times from 14 opportunities. The match started late, well after 23:00, but Roger wasted no time on the court to bring it home, winning the opening 5 games in 12 minutes (20 out of the first 25 points went to his side)! The quarter-final action starts with 3 grass encounters, the first at Australian Open 1969 when Andres Gimeno beat Butch Buchholz 6-1 6-2 6-1.
In 1971 and 1972 we had similar results again in Australia and at Wimbledon, and then it comes the US Open 1975 on clay, with impressive wins for Jimmy Connors and Guillermo Vilas. In 1976, Borg dismantled Vilas in the quarter-final of Wimbledon by 6-3 6-0 6-2, barely making the list.
Vilas was a solid player on grass, especially in Australia where he will win back-to-back titles, but that was far below Borg's level, which Swede demonstrated in this match. After two one-sided last 8 matches in New York in 1977, the time has come to see the first such scenario on hard court, as Vitas Gerulaitis defeated Johan Kriek 6-2 6-1 6-2 at the US Open 1978.
Jimmy Connors followed hum 12 months later, scoring a 6-2 6-1 6-1 win against Pat Du Pre, showing his return skills with 8 breaks in Du Pre's 11 service games. Until now, there were 10 Grand Slam quarter-final matches that failed to bring a true excitement, and none of them happened at Roland Garros, which was surprising.
We open the 80's exactly in Paris when Jimmy Connors double bageled Hans Gildemeister 6-4 6-0 6-0. Hans was 4-3 and 40-0 in front but he lost that game and he virtually disappeared from the court after that, losing the next 15 games! Johan Kriek and John McEnroe scored impressive wins at the Australian Open in 1982 and 1983, both losing 5 games in their last 8 matches, and there was a 5 year break until next similar result, scored by Ivan Lendl at the US Open.
Ivan ousts Derrick Rostagno 6-2 6-2 6-0 in 99 minutes. After the opening 2-2, Lendl grabbed 16 out of the final 18 games for a quick and easy win. Rostagno rushed to the net more than 70 times, but his efforts were easily dismissed by Ivan's amazing passing shots.
In 1989 we are back at Wimbledon after 13 years when Boris Becker played an amazing match against Paul Chamberlin by 6-1 6-2 6-0. Everything was over after 93 minutes, as Becker lost just 7 points on serve in the first two sets! Boris double faulted on his first two match points, but he converted the next one with service winner from his second serve.
The 80's were closed a few months later at the US Open, Ivan Lendl defeated Tim Mayotte 6-4 6-0 6-1 for his 8th consecutive semi-final in New York. At one point, Ivan won 11 games in a row and his victory was never in doubt.
As we saw, there weren't any one-sided round 16 matches during the 90's, but we count 5 quarter-final encounters in which the losing player failed to win more than 5 games. In 1991, Andre Agassi beat Jakob Hlasek 6-3 6-1 6-1 en route to the semi-final, the match lasted just 75 minutes and there was only one player on the court.
Hlasek was unprepared for this match and he had no weapons that could help him to score a few more games, as Andre was just too good, reaching his 3rd semi-final here in the past 4 years. 1992 brings Pete Sampras to this story, after his 6-4 6-1 6-0 triumph against Alexander Volkov at the US Open.
Volkov had a better start, breaking Pete in the 3rd game of the match, but Sampras recovered quickly to take the set 6-4 with breaks in games 6 and 10. That was pretty much it from Volkov, who lost interest to compete in the rest of the match and managed to win just one game in the remaining 2 sets.
In 1993 we travel to Australian Open for the first time in 10 years, to see Jim Courier beating Petr Korda 6-1 6-0 6-4. Korda was seeded 7th but Jim controlled the match from start to finish, especially in the opening 2 sets when he lost just one game.
After opening 1-1, Courier claimed 13 games in a row and he probably couldn't play better tennis even if he wanted. The match lasted 100 minutes and the American made just 7 unforced errors, while Korda counted to 50! Roland Garros 1999 brought a fairytale to Andre Agassi, and together with Fernando Meligeni he scored a lopsided victory in the quarter-final, looking better and better in the only Grand Slam he didn't win up to that point.
Marcelo Filippini won just 4 games in his 6-2 6-2 6-0 defeat, and this was Andre's first semi-final appearance in Paris since 1992! He was the crowd's favorite, but even they started to support Filippini as the match progresses, to see at least something from the Uruguayan.
He was the qualifier, ranked 140th, and he had nothing left in the tank to confront Andre, who won the match in 72 minutes! Agassi lost only 9 points in the final set and Marcelo could only congratulate him on an impressive display of tennis.
Brazilian Fernando Meligeni made his first and only Grand Slam quarter-final that year, and he notched an oustanding 6-2 6-2 6-0 win over last year's finalist Alex Corretja. Spaniard had an allergic reaction a few days earlier and he was unable to fight better, making almost 50 unforced errors and never finding a good rhythm.
7 years passed and we finally got new sleepy quarter-final match at 2006 Australian Open. David Nalbandian beat the magician Fabrice Santoro by a crazy 7-5 6-0 6-0 score, as it was almost impossible for this match to make the list after the opening set.
Santoro played his first Grand Slam quarter-final at the age of 33, he had a break advantage but somehow he ended losing the last 14 games of the match! The result went back and forth in the opening set but Nalbandian clinched it with a break in the 12th game, and Santoro's game fell apart completely after that.
David played flawless tennis in sets 2 and 3, losing only 16 points and ending the match with yet another backhand winner, his 47th in total! Roland Garros 2008 is the clear association for Nadal, who let only 3 games to compatriot Nicolas Almagro, in a 6-1 6-1 6-1 triumph (as we saw, Verdasco also took just 3 games in the round before).
Rafa celebrated his 22nd birthday that day, and this was his biggest gift, taking the victory in an hour and 44 minutes. That tells us that Almagro compete as best as he could, but that wasn't enough for more than those 3 miserable games.
Nadal broke his rival 8 times and he was in a strong rhythm right from the start, taking the opener in 27 minutes after losing just 10 points. Nicolas fought stronger in the remaining sets, but Nadal restricted him on only 2 games by the end of the match.
This was the most impressive quarter-final victory at Grand Slams since 1989, and it will be very hard to see something similar in the future. Next winter we had a blockbuster quarter-final match in Melbourne, but it stayed interesting only on the paper, as Roger Federer overrun Juan Martin del Potro 6-3 6-0 6-0! Everything looked good in the opening 6 games, the second and eight seeds split them to stay close to each other, bout out of sudden Roger won the last 15 games of the match.
This was the most one-sided quarter-final encounter on hard courts in Grand Slam history, and we will probably never again see only 3 games from the losing player in Melbourne or New York, as it seems highly unlikely to happen.
Everything was over in 80 minutes, Roger lost just 9 points on serve and broke Juan Marin 7 times, virtually flying over the court. Swiss star finished the match with brutal 38 winners and only 9 unforced errors, taking the 51 out of the last 65 points! Delpo couldn't do anything on return and his groundstrokes were just not there, as he had nothing in his arsenal to threaten amazing Federer.
That season was remembered for a shocking victory of Robin Soderling over Rafael Nadal in Paris and carried by that win Soderling demolished Nikolay Davydenko in the quarter-final, by 6-1 6-3 6-1. Nikolay had two break points in the first game of the match, but that were his only chances in the entire clash.
Robin took the control soon after that, winning the opener 6-1 in 23 minutes. Russian somehow stayed in touch in the first part of the second set, but in the 7th game, he made 4 unforced errors and from that point he will win only one more game.
Robin stayed away from long rallies, dictating the pace with his strong forehand, and after the match, Davydenko admitted he wasn't ready for such a strong display from his rival, despite he knew what to expect from the Swede.
Roger Federer brought us back to Wimbledon after 23 years, beating Mikhail Youzhny 6-1 6-2 6-2 in 2012 quarter-final. The match lasted just over an hour and a half and Mikhail was so powerless that he asked Andre Agassi, Rod Laver, and Steffi Graf what to do at one point in the third set.
Federer had a huge 20 break points, Youzhny saved 14 but those 6 that Swiss converted were sufficient for such a commanding triumph. The first set lasted 28 minutes (11 minutes went on the first game alone when Roger converted his 5th break chance), and the second one lasted the same, with another 2 breaks from Federer.
In the final set, Mischa managed to create break points in game 4 but he failed to convert any, and Roger finished the match with a forehand winner, his 25th in total. This was their 14th meeting and Roger lost just 3 sets in those, completely dominating the H2H.
2013 Roland Garros saw an interesting quarter-final match between two Spaniards, David Ferrer and Tommy Robredo. Ferrer celebrated by 6-2 6-1 6-1 in a rather unexpected fashion, as everybody expected a much closer battle.
In the previous 3 rounds, Tommy made an astonishing success, coming back from 2 sets to love down, and he had to play almost 4 hours against Monfils and Almagro. All that for sure left physical and mental marks on him, and on the other hand, David Ferrer spent the least time on the court of all 8 players in the quarter-final.
The duel was over in 85 minutes, after 7 breaks of serve from Ferrer, who won more than half of the return points. Tommy struggled to win a point every time he would miss the first serve, and he had nothing left in the tank to take at least a game or two more.
Ferrer controlled the points with his consistent and deep groundstrokes, moving much better than his rival and he could hardly play a better match than this one en route to his first and only Grand Slam final. Only a few months later Tommy Robredo was again on the negative side of our list, in the last one-sided quarter-final Grand Slam match up to date.
Rafael Nadal stormed to beat him 6-0 6-2 6-2, for the most impressive victory at the US Open since Ivan Lendl 25 years earlier! In the previous round, Robredo stunned Federer in straight sets and that probably took all of his emotions and strength, as he was just a shadow a few days later versus Rafa.
To be honest, Robredo stood no chance in this match against the rival who played maybe his best tennis on hard courts ever. Rafa served great, losing just 5 points behind his first serve, never facing a break point. On the other hand, he created 10 and converted 7, which just shows how good Nadal was in the deciding moments.
The first set lasted just 22 minutes, Nadal lost only 5 points and it was clear that Robredo can't stay on the court for too long. Robredo won his first game after some 40 minutes but he played at least a little bit better in the remaining of that second set and in the third, enough to collect 4 games and avoid the total disaster.