Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal had numerous epic duels between 2004 and 2019, battling worldwide and fighting for the most notable trophies. However, two great rivals never met at the US Open, missing their New York clash by one match several times.
One of those opportunities came in 2013 when Roger and Rafa shared the same quarter. The Spaniard advanced into the last eight, and the Swiss was projected to join him after being the favorite versus another Spaniard, Tommy Robredo.
Unimpressed by Nadal vs. Federer stories, Robredo stunned a five-time champion 7-6, 6-3, 6-4 in two hours and 24 minutes, arranging the quarter-final duel with his compatriot Nadal. With both turning pro in 1998, Roger Federer and Tommy Robredo were among the players to watch from the young generation in the early 2000s.
The Swiss enjoyed a much more satisfying career, but Robredo has also left a mark on the Tour, winning 12 ATP titles and becoming world no. 5 in 2006.
Tommy Robredo defeated Roger Federer in straight sets at the 2003 US Open.
The Spaniard delivered 107 wins at Majors, with 35 coming at the US Open, where he always enjoyed playing, reaching the fourth round on a debut in 2001.
Until 2010, Robredo was in the last 16 in New York no less than seven times, constantly failing to make that extra step and reach the quarter-final. The Spaniard changed that in 2013 when he stunned the Swiss in the fourth round, securing one of his career-best triumphs!
Using a favorable draw, Tommy advanced into the last 16 and faced a five-time US Open champion on September 2. Tommy had lost all ten previous matches against Roger, hoping to change that in front of the New York crowd. The Swiss played well in the first three encounters, but that changed against the Spaniard.
Federer struggled to find his strokes and take advantage in the decisive points, with Robredo fending off 14 out of 16 break chances, limiting the damage in his games and gaining momentum that carried him over the top. Tommy kicked off the action with a break in the encounter's first game before Roger pulled it back to lock the result at 2-2.
Robredo broke again at 4-4 and served for the set in game ten. Federer pulled the break back at the last moment and reached a tie break, only to lose it 7-3. Tommy closed it with an ace after 56 minutes, gaining a considerable boost.
Serving well in set number two, Robredo kept the pressure on the other side. The lower-ranked player clinched a break at love at 4-3, fending off break chances in the next game to seal the set and take a big step toward the finish line.
Roger played another terrible service game at 3-3 in the third set, falling behind and moving closer to the exit door. Tommy served for the victory in game ten and fired a service winner to seal the deal and advance into the quarter-final, celebrating one of his career-best victories.
Thus, Federer experienced his earliest US Open loss since 2003, missing a chance to arrange his first New York duel against Rafael Nadal.
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