Big Applecart upset

Federer ‘self destructs’ against Robredo,loses 7-6(3),6-3,6-4 in the fourth round.

Written by Reuters | New York | Published: September 4, 2013 1:00:06 am

Federer ‘self destructs’ against Robredo,loses 7-6(3),6-3,6-4 in the fourth round.

Julian Linden

Roger Federer suffered a shock loss to Tommy Robredo at the US Open on Monday,ruining the prospect of meeting Rafa Nadal at the only Grand Slam where the two greats have never played each other.

In the biggest upset of the tournament,Robredo demolished a badly out-of-sorts Federer 7-6(3),6-3,6-4 in the fourth round,marking the first time in a decade the Swiss master has fallen before the quarter-finals at Flushing Meadows.

“I kind of feel like I beat myself,without taking any credit away from Tommy,” a dejected Federer told reporters.

“I kind of self-destructed,which is very disappointing,especially on a quicker court. I just couldn’t do it. It was a frustrating performance today.”

As expected,Nadal safely made it through,recovering after losing a set for the first time in the tournament to beat Philipp Kohlschreiber 6-7(4),6-4,6-3,6-1 at an electrified Arthur Ashe Stadium.

But his win was overshadowed by Federer’s unforeseen loss against a player he had beaten in each of their 10 previous meetings,spoiling what was looming as the first meeting between the pair in the Big Apple.

Robredo was almost as surprised as everyone else after one of the biggest wins of his career. “It’s amazing,” Robredo said. “For me,Roger,for the moment,is the best player of all time. And to beat him in a huge stadium like the U.S. Open and in a Grand Slam. It’s like a dream.”

There was an omen even before the match began when officials moved it from the center court to the smaller Louis Armstrong Stadium following a five-hour rain delay.

US Open champion for five straight years from 2004,the last time Federer played a match away from Arthur Ashe Stadium was in 2006 but refused to blame the court switch for a performance that will raise fresh speculation whether he is capable of adding to his record 17 Grand Slams.

“That should not be the issue,” Federer said. “That’s definitely the last excuse you could find.”

Robredo will now face Nadal in the quarterfinals,ensuring there will be at least one Spaniard in the semifinals. There well could be another after David Ferrer joined his countrymen by beating Serbia’s Janko Tipsarevic 7-6(2),3-6,7-5,7-6(3).

The fourth seed will play Richard Gasquet after the Frenchman saved a match point in the fourth set tiebreak before going on to outlast Canada’s Milos Raonic 6-7(4),7-6(4),2-6,7-6(9),7-5 in a slugfest that lasted four hours and 40 minutes. Raonic served 39 aces and hit 102 winners but paid the price for 80 unforced errors.

Earlier,Daniela Hantuchova advanced to the quarterfinals for the first time in more than a decade. Hantuchova will play Victoria Azarenka,who booked her place in the quarter-finals after beating Ana Ivanovic 4-6 6-3 6-4 in an error-strewn fourth-round match.

Azarenka dropped her opening set for the second match in a row but fought her way back to win after more than two gruelling hours. “Ana just came out firing,she played amazing tennis in the first set … ripping winners and serving great,” Azarenka said in a courtside interview. “I really had to wake up in the second set.

“In the second set,I felt I was determined,more focused and taking more opportunities.”

The 30-year-old Hantuchova had not reached the last eight in New York since she was a teenager in 2002 but made up for lost time with a 6-3,5-7,6-2 victory over American wildcard Alison Riske.

Sharan-Lu ousted

Divij Sharan’s US Open came to an end after the Indian and his Chinese Taipei partner Yen-Hsun Lu went down fighting to Aisam-Ul-Haq Qureshi and Jean-Julien Rojer in the men’s doubles third round here. Sharan and Lu lost 6-7 (6) 6-3 3-6 to the fifth seeded .

Qureshi and Rojer’s booming serve gave them the upperhand in then opening set as they sent down as many as six aces against none by their rivals. With a better first serve percentage,Sharan and Lu roared back in the second set with a dominating performance during which they broke Qureshi and Rojer once. But they turned the tables in the deciding set by breaking Sharan and Lu once while not conceding a single break point themselves to seal the issue in their favour.


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