Federer Falls to Robredo at U.S. Open
By Mike McIntyre
A disappointing season of tennis from Roger Federer took another hit on labor day Monday as he was beaten in the fourth round of the U.S. Open by 19th seed Tommy Robredo 7-6(3), 6-3, 6-4 on Louis Armstrong Stadium. That's the same Tommy Robredo that has lost in all previous ten career meetings against the 7th seeded Federer.
Despite a subtle point imbalance of 110 for Robredo to 101 for Federer, the Swiss superstar was only able to convert 2 of 16 break point opportunities in the match. He would lose in straight sets at the Open for the first time since 2002 when he was beaten by Max "The Beast" Mirnyi.
The loss marks the end of a Grand Slam season where Federer failed to advance to a single major final. That is also a first for Federer since 2002. He lost in the semis of Australia (Murray), the quarters at the French (Tsonga), the 2nd round at Wimbledon (Stakhovsky) and now in the 4th here at Flushing Meadows to Robredo.
The loss denies tennis fans the chance to have seen Federer take-on longtime rival Rafael Nadal in what would have been an epic quarter-final Wednesday night. The dynamic duo had never faced each other in New York and perhaps they never will.
Federer made no excuses after the match while talking to the press saying that his loss had nothing to do with either playing in a smaller venue like Armstrong or his back which felt fine throughout the tournament. Instead he said plainly that, "It just ended up being a bad combination of many things today."
For Federer it will be a real test to go back to the drawing board with coach Paul Annacone and the rest of his team. Does he return to testing the larger frame Wilson racquet that he experimented with following his even more shocking loss at Wimbledon? Is it time perhaps for him to find a new coach to help change the recent string of surprise losses? Or does Roger simply need to go out and continue to play more matches this fall in order to re-discover his confidence and top-four form?