Tommy Robredo’s withdrawal has been how, where and when he wanted. In a match in Barcelona, at the Open Banc Sabadell, on the center court of the tournament and surrounded by his own. From family and friends, but also from an audience that for so many seasons applauded his game. Yesterday, on the Rafa Nadal court, they did it for the last time.
Robredo retires a few days after turning 40 after a long career that began in 1998. There are 1,226 games with 533 victories that led him to win 12 ATP titles and to be the fifth best player on the planet. Today, far from that performance, he says goodbye to a fantastic race: “I was neither physically nor mentally, and then there is my position in the ranking. You begin to lose all that and the desire falls. I accepted that this was going to happen, but I played because I loved it” he told AS a little over a month ago. His last match against Zapate Miralles was a good reflection of that sentence: there was no match.
With a much higher pace, the Spaniard gave Robredo no chance. 6-1 6-1 in a match without tennis history but with a lot of emotional charge. Zapata resolutely went for the match from the first point, taking advantage of every break point and overwhelming his opponent with an arsenal of shots. But each point and each game that Robredo added received the unanimous recognition of the public that applauded not only the point and the game, but the entire career of one of the greats of Spanish tennis in recent decades..
Godó champion in 2004, Robredo later found himself with an intractable Rafa Nadal on clay and in Barcelona. He could not win Godó again, but he considers it lucky to have crossed paths with the tennis player from Manacor in his career: “Everything has been for the best. He has made Spain talk more about tennis, that there are more sponsors, that everything goes up… When I started in a Grand Slam, if they eliminated you in the first round you won 6,000 euros and now it’s 60,000. And that is thanks to Nadal, Federer… Thanks to Nadal there are tournaments or sponsors that come to Spain. Without him, perhaps I would have won a few more games, but that is already a matter of sport. I am calm because I gave that one hundred percent, and that is the important thing”, he commented.