Despite all the setbacks he has had in the last couple of years, the Spanish veteran Tommy Robredo is ready for another comeback when the coronavirus pandemic goes away, not playing since October last year. Former world no.
5 has won 12 ATP titles so far and more than 100 Major matches, standing as one of the oldest players left on the Tour and still wanting to compete and extend his career. Back in 2013 and 2014, Robredo finished in the top-20 and advanced into five ATP title matches during that period, staying competitive in 2015 as well before losing ground due to injuries.
Recalling one of the most exciting finals in the last decade or more, Tommy said he gave his everything against Andy Murray in Valencia 2014, squandering five match points in a heartbreaking 3-6, 7-6, 7-6 loss in front of the home fans.
The encounter lasted for three hours and 20 minutes, with two rivals pushing each other to the limits in sets two and three, separated by only one point in the end! Tommy fended off 11 out of 13 break chances and converted all four break opportunities on the return, playing one of his best matches in a career and still finishing on the losing side against the opponent who simply refused to surrender.
The Spaniard drew first blood in the seventh game, moving 4-3 up and fending off four break points in the next game to confirm the advantage and cement the lead. Serving to stay in the set, Andy suffered another break to propel Tommy 6-3 ahead after grueling 57 minutes, with the best that was yet to come in the rest of the clash.
Trailing 4-2 in set number two, Robredo saved break chances and broke back in game eight following a loose forehand from Murray, leveling the score and setting up a tie break, a must-win one for the Briton. It could have been all over at 6-5 and 7-6 for Tommy who wasted his chances, unable to convert match points and with a loose forehand that offered the set to Murray, two hours and four minutes since the first point!
The match was becoming more and more physical and it was the Spaniard who dealt with it more efficiently, clinching a break at love in game seven before Murray landed a perfect backhand down the line winner in the next game to pull the break back and prolong the drama.
Serving at 4-5, Tommy saved a match point to prolong the battle, with the rivals moving into a deciding tie break after two great holds on both sides in games 11 and 12. Like that wasn't enough, Robredo and Murray produced a memorable tie break that kept the crowd on the edge of their seats, with Murray fending off the third match point at 5-6 with a volley winner.
At 6-7, he took down the fourth as well with brave hitting, taking care of the fifth as well at 7-8 with a smash winner, surviving all the obstacles and sealing the deal with a backhand down the line winner in the 18th point!
"It was one of the best matches I've ever played in my life. I lost, despite never playing like that before. I have seen it several times and I cannot regret anything; we both played at a very high level. After the encounter, we hugged each other and went together to Paris on the private plane.
I see the match points I had and I played them perfectly. We produced a show that lasted for more than three hours; many people congratulated me."