French Open 2013: Tommy Robredo smashes 86-year comeback record

Tearful Tommy Robredo became the first man in 86 years to come back from two sets to love down in three successive Grand Slam matches to reach the French Open quarter-finals on Sunday.

Updated: June 02, 2013 22:12 IST
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Paris: Tearful Tommy Robredo became the first man in 86 years to come back from two sets to love down in three successive Grand Slam matches to reach the French Open quarter-finals on Sunday.

Robredo clinched a breathtaking 6-7 (5/7), 3-6, 6-4, 6-4, 6-4 win over 11th seeded compatriot Nicolas Almagro and will tackle fellow Spaniard David Ferrer for a semi-final spot.

Henri Cochet at Wimbledon in 1927 was the last man to achieve the feat.

Robredo, who was down at 471 in the world rankings this time last year after leg surgery forced him onto the sidelines, joins the great Frenchman after battling past Igor Sijsling and Gael Monfils before repeating the drama against Almagro.

Robredo, a former world number five, had appeared on his way out, however, when Almagro, with a 5-0 career lead over his compatriot, led by two sets and 4-1 in the third on Sunday.

Robredo, the 32nd seed, was also down in the fourth set at 2-4, but went on a four-game streak to level the tie.

The decider followed the same pattern with Almagro, a three-time quarter-finalist, nipping out to a 2-0 lead before Robredo, with the crowd on his side, came back for a 3-2 lead.

Almagro broke back for 3-3 but his nerve failed him in the ninth game when Robredo hit back for 5-4 and took the match when Almagro fluffed an easy volley.

Robredo, who will be playing in a fifth quarter-final, at Roland Garros, 10 years after his first, collapsed to his knees on Court Suzanne Lenglen and wept while more tears flowed as he received a standing ovation from the crowd.

Meanwhile, Ferrer, the Spanish fourth seed and a semi-finalist in 2012, breezed past South Africa's Kevin Anderson 6-3, 6-1, 6-1.

The 31-year-old has made the last eight without dropping a set and takes a 6-2 head-to-head lead over Robredo into their quarter-final.

"I have faced other Spanish players many times. Tommy is very solid. It will be a long physical match," said Ferrer.

Anderson, the 27th seed, was bidding to become the first South African to reach the last-eight at Roland Garros since Cliff Drysdale in 1968 but his challenge was fatally undermined by 41 unforced errors.

Roger Federer, the 2009 champion, will later Sunday attempt to become just the fourth man to record 900 wins on the tour when he meets French 15th seed Gilles Simon.

Victory for the 31-year-old will also give him a spot in a Grand Slam quarter-final for the 40th time.

Only Jimmy Connors (1,156), Ivan Lendl (1,068) and Guillermo Vilas (940) have won more times on the tour than Federer.

On a day of potential landmarks, the Swiss holder of 17 majors can also win his 58th match at Roland Garros, matching the record held jointly by Vilas and Nicola Pietrangeli.

In a battle of tennis dads -- Federer has twin daughters while Simon has a son -- the 28-year-old Frenchman is trying to reach his first Paris quarter-final.

The winner of that tie will meet French sixth seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga who swept past unseeded Serb Viktor Troicki, 6-3, 6-3, 6-3, for a semi-final place.

Tsonga, one of three Frenchmen in the last-16, is seen as his country's best hope of ending a 30-year wait to crown a men's champion at the French Open.

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  • Tennis
  • Tommy Robredo
  • Roger Federer
  • Nicolas Almagro
  • Rafael Nadal
  • Caroline Wozniacki
  • Agnieszka Radwanska
  • Andy Murray
  • Novak Djokovic
  • Bernard Tomic
  • Pablo Carreno Busta
  • French Open 2013

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