by JAMES HENRY
CINCINNATI – Every moment is special. And some, in particular, will be remembered forever.
Defeating five-time champion Roger Federer of Switzerland in the fourth round of last year’s U.S. Open: 7-6 (3), 6-3, 6-4.
Before a partisan crowd, beating France’s Gaël Monfils in the third round of the 2013 French Open: 2-6, 6-7 (5), 6-2, 7-6 (3), 6-2.
Then, in another five-set stunner the next round in Paris, overcoming countryman Nicolás Almagro: 6-7 (5), 3-6, 6-4, 6-4, 6-4.
Spain’s Tommy Robredo said he never will forget those matches. Another now is etched in his memory – upsetting Novak Djokovic at the 2014 Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati as the Serbian tried to complete the Career Golden Masters, winning all nine ATP World Tour Masters 1000 tournaments.
Robredo ousted the World No. 1 and winner of seven Grand Slam singles titles in the third round: 7-6 (6), 7-5.
“I always say the same: When I finish my career and when I will be sitting at home and talking with friends, I will remember days like this,” the 32-year-old said.
“There is couple matches that will keep being in my memory for years,” he said. “I’m playing for that. I’m playing for enjoying these moments. Tennis career is very hard. You know, we are traveling. A lot of times, we’re alone on the plane, on the autos.
“Also, we are lucky to be inside a tennis court with 5,000 fans supporting us and enjoying what we do.
“When things like this happen is when you’ll feel more aware, no? That’s why I’m here, and I have to enjoy these matches as well as I can.”
Robredo has had a successful professional tennis career, earning 12 singles titles and five doubles titles. Currently 20th, his career-high ranking was fifth in 2006, when he won his own Masters trophy in Hamburg, Germany.
“For me, one of the best matches I enjoyed, it was French Open last year, beating Monfils in five sets and all of the 10,000 people just screaming my name and stand up and clapping and enjoying,” he said, noting he had goosebumps.
“And two days later, I did the same against Almagro. The people was just screaming also my name and being there. Normally the French crowd is strict, and if they do it, it’s because they enjoy it so much.
“I think that moments, even if they were not the world No. 1, it was amazing. It’s something that I will remember forever. To beat Federer in the U.S. Open was something great, something I will never forget.
“Beating Novak here in the only Masters 1000 that he didn’t win is also important.”
“Every victory, every moment has special moment, special memory,” he added.
Robredo wants to create more of those memories.
“Obviously, right now I’m still on the tournament and I’m focused. I just try to keep winning. I don’t care if I win No. 20, No. 3, No. 4 or No. 50. The important thing is try to keep winning,” he said.