|Posted by Jeevan ॐ Mirthu Gupt on October 26, 2014 at 7:30 AM|
ATPWorldTour.com pays tribute to Tommy Robredo, who has recorded his 500th match win....
When Tommy Robredo was sidelined for 14 months due to a leg injury in 2011 and 2012, he drew on his resilience. In more than 800 tour-level matches, his mental fortitude and physical stamina has never been questioned, but after his hiatus it was his passion for the sport that helped him to return from No. 471 and back into the Top 30 of the Emirates ATP Rankings.
Robredo will rightly savour his 500th match win today, as only the fifth Spaniard in the Open Era to reach the milestone - joining Rafael Nadal (706), Manuel Orantes (641), David Ferrer (600) and Carlos Moya (575). But he will resist the temptation to over-celebrate it until the conclusion of the Valencia Open 500. Robredo has unfinished business; there is a final clash to play against Andy Murray on Sunday.
"It is only a number, but it's a special number," said Robredo. "If somebody told me I would win 500 matches at the beginning of my career, I would sign up for it. Now, I will go for 600."
As only one of three active players (also Nadal and Ferrer) to have recorded more than 200 match wins on hard and clay-courts, Robredo has helped to dispel the myth that Spaniards are clay-court specialists. For over the past 15 years, Spanish tennis has evolved and Robredo has been at the forefront of that change. Murray admits, “He has improved on all the surfaces as he has got older. He has become very consistent. He fights very hard and he is very fast. That’s why he has been at the top of the game for so long.”
His speed and adaptability, both hallmarks of his game, were both initially developed on hard courts as a youngster. But it wasn’t until Robredo was 14 that he first played on a clay court. Humble of his achievements, he broke into the Top 20 in 2004 and spent 18-months in the Top 10, rising to a career-high No. 5 in August 2006. His lethal one-handed backhand has helped him to 12 ATP World Tour titles in 22 finals, including the 2006 Hamburg crown (d. Stepanek).
Former World No. 1 Juan Carlos Ferrero confesses, “He is very similar to how he was as a junior. But he now has more experience. He is a very intelligent player on court, using his weapons well and serving very well, which is why he is still up there, aged 32. He knows everything that is going through an opponent’s mind at every moment. That is a very important quality.”
At 2013 Roland Garros, he became the first man since Henri Cochet in 1927 to come back from two-sets-to-love down to win three consecutive Grand Slam championship matches. This year, at the Western & Southern Open, he recorded his 22nd Top 10 victory in beating World No. 1 Novak Djokovic 7-6(6), 7-5.
On the court, Robredo is highly focused and driven. Off the court, he keeps himself occupied. The home-loving Robredo, named Tommy because of his father Angel's love for The Who’s rock opera of the same name, enjoys riding in the mountains with his horses, Sebastopol and Dia, or quad biking. Yet inside the lines, he competes with the same level of enthusiasm as he had when he turned pro in 1998. At 32 years of age, he has become stronger, more powerful and remains a player to be feared.
By : James Buddell