Tennis-Iron man Robredo completes third great escape
PARIS, June 2
PARIS, June 2 (Reuters) - Claycourt warrior Tommy Robredo came back from the brink yet again to beat fellow Spaniard Nicolas Almagro and reach the quarter-finals of the French Open on Sunday.
The 31-year-old Robredo looked down and out when he trailed by two sets and 4-1 on Suzanne Lenglen court but produced a stunning fightback to outlast the 11th seed 6-7(5) 3-6 6-4 6-4 6-4 after a three-hour-49-minute baseline battle.
Robredo, whose career seemed in doubt last year when he missed five months because of leg surgery and dropped to 471 in the world rankings, was overcome with emotion at the end after a third successive victory from a two-set deficit.
Almagro edged a tough first set and his greater power looked set to give him his sixth win out of six against the former world number five and four-times French Open quarter-finalist.
Robredo, who saved four match points against local favourite Gael Monfils in the previous round, had not won a set off Almagro since their first meeting in 2007 but with nothing to lose he began to take greater risks.
His single-handed backhand, one of the most eye-catching in the game, began to find its range and suddenly it was Almagro who was being stretched in the baseline rallies.
Having levelled the match at two sets all, Robredo fell a break behind in the decider but he produced one final fightback to seal a memorable victory when Almagro netted a backhand volley.
Robredo faces more hard graft in the quarter-finals where he will play compatriot David Ferrer. (Editing by Clare Fallon)
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