With both turning pro in 1998, Roger Federer and Tommy Robredo were among the players to watch from the young generation in the early 00s. Of course, the Swiss accomplished much better career but Robredo has also left a mark on the Tour, winning 12 ATP titles and becoming world no.
5 in 2006. The Spaniard has delivered 107 Grand Slam wins so far (he is still active despite all the injuries) and 35 of those came at the US Open where he always loved to play, reaching the fourth round on debut back in 2001.
Until 2010, Robredo was in the last 16 in New York no less than seven times, always failing to make that extra step and reach the quarter-final, with all that changing in 2013 when he stunned Roger Federer in the fourth round!
Using a favorable draw, Tommy advanced into the last 16 and faced the five-time US Open champion there, losing all previous ten matches against Roger and hoping to change that in front of the New York crowd. Recalling the encounter, Robredo said it was Marc Lopez who gave him some useful tips in the locker room, sticking to them and using the fact Federer didn't play at his best, scoring a massive 7-6, 6-3, 6-4 triumph in two hours and 24 minutes, moving into the last eight and setting the all-Spanish duel against Rafael Nadal.
The Swiss played well in the first three tests but it wasn't to be for him against Tommy, struggling to find his shots and take advantage in the decisive points, with the Spaniard fending off 14 out of 16 break chances to limit the damage in his games and gain momentum that carried him over the finish line.
Robredo made a break in the first game of the match, with Roger pulling it back three games later to level the score at 2-2. Delivering another break at 4-4, Tommy served for the set but couldn't close it, allowing Roger to bounce back before taking the tie break 7-3 with an ace after 56 minutes to gain a massive boost ahead of the remaining sets.
Serving well in set number two, Robredo kept the pressure on the other side of the net and 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 towards the finish line.
At 3-3 in set number three, Roger played another terrible service game that sealed his fate in this match, with Tommy moving over the top with a service winner in game ten for one of his best wins ever. "It was special to beat Roger Federer at the US Open in 2013.
A funny thing occurred before that match, as I was standing in the locker room, thinking about how to beat him for the first time. Marc Lopez was there with me, telling me to stay as calm as I can and offering me four tactical things about his game and how to impose my shots.
That tactic worked and you could see me laughing in the middle of the game because I saw Marc's face. I started well, won the first set and saw he wasn't doing much to change those errors he was making. Sticking to my game plan, I did everything right in sets two and three to earn that spectacular victory."