Day 7 was supposed to have the four straight-forward round of 16 matchups. Two of them went as expected, but the other two were anything but straight-forward.
Robredo the Marathon Man- For the first time in about 90 years, a player has come back from two sets to love down in THREE consecutive matches. Tommy Robredo, the 31 year old Spaniard pulled off his third straight improbable, and maybe even impossible victory. Two days after defeating Gael Monfils, coming from two sets to love down, saving 4 match points, Robredo pulled off another miracle today. He beat Nico Almagro 6-7(5) 3-6 6-4 6-4 6-4. He was down 4-1 in the third set, down 4-2 in the fourth set, and down 2-0 in fifth. Almagro got very tight, and Robredo was there to take advantage. He grinds harder than just about anybody on tour, except for his next opponent.
For Robredo, this was an extremely emotional win. He was in tears of joy after the match, embracing the French Crowd who have grown to love him. At this time last year, he was ranked outside the top 400. He used wildcards, challengers, and his grit to eventually get up to number 34 in the world. He’s into the quarterfinals, and he must be dreading his next opponent, David Ferrer. Could the guy at least get 2 days off?
The Boring Stuff- David Ferrer looked like a man on a mission against Kevin Anderson, breaking the big serving South African six times in route to a 6-3 6-1 6-1. He was hitting the ball as big as I have ever seen him.
Jo Willy Tsonga took care of business against a lesser opponent in Viktor Troicki, cruising to a 6-3 6-3 6-3 victory.
Federer Tested- After the first set, it looked like one way traffic for the 17 time grand slam champion. He took the first set 6-1 over Gilles Simon, in total control. However, after taking a fall in the second set, he started to get worn down. Simon won the next two sets 6-4 6-2, hitting the ball as big as he ever has. Darren Cahill even tweeted: “Wondering why Simon doesn’t play like this in every match. I know Federer forces him to be offensive but normally chooses not to. #MiniMarat.”
The French crowd were torn in this one, and once Federer got down 2 sets to 1, they were firmly in his corner.
He started to get himself in the match emotionally, belting out some subtle Com’on’s and Allez’s. He broke Simon with some brilliant shot making and took the fourth 6-4. Simon wasn’t going to beat himself, and fought to the end. Federer broke to open the fifth set, and things went on serve until Roger served for it at 5-3/ He saved three break points, before winning on his fourth match point. He sets up a great Quarterfinal matchup with Jo-Willy.
Shot of the Day- Probably the shot of the tournament. Here is Roger producing his signature magic: