Tommy Robredo's Unforgettable Career
Tommy Robredo has brought an end to one of the longest careers on the ATP Tour. The Spaniard, who will be 40 in May, leaves behind a glittering career in which he picked up 12 ATP Tour titles, reached No. 5 in the ATP Rankings and played in the Nitto ATP Finals. On Monday, he hung up his racquet after 23 seasons competing at the top.
Robredo did so at the Barcelona Open Banc Sabadell, the same place where he claimed his first ATP Tour win at 16 years of age over Italian Davide Sanguinetti. Since then, he has played 891 tour-level matches, winning 533, putting him sixth on the all-time Spanish winners’ list.
Most Tour-Level Wins Among Spaniards
|1) Rafael Nadal||1,048|
|2) David Ferrer||734|
|3) Manuel Orantes||722|
|4) Carlos Moya||575|
|5) Fernando Verdasco||557|
|6) Tommy Robredo||533|
|7) Feliciano Lopez||503|
“I dreamt of being a tennis player and I managed to get very good in the world of tennis, with big titles and achievements. I’m very happy that people have been able to enjoy it, but above all that I’ve done what every child dreams of, being a professional,” Robredo told ATPTour.com.
The player born in Hostalric in 1982 was 18 years old when he reached his first ATP Tour final in Casablanca, where he defeated Olivier Malcor, Jiri Vanek, Germán Puentes and Younes El Aynaoui to reach the championship match, where he fell against Guillermo Cañas. However, that run helped him climb into the world’s Top 100. At 19, Robredo lifted his first trophy in Sopot.
These would just be the first of many memorable moments in his career. In 2004, he enjoyed what was probably one of his finest moments. At the Barcelona Open Banc Sabadell, which is held at his home club — the Real Club de Tenis Barcelona-1899 — he won his second ATP Tour title.
“The title at the Trofeo Conde de Godó in 2004 was spectacular,” Robredo said, before recalling another series of unforgettable chapters of his journey on the ATP Tour. “On top of that title in Barcelona, there are other moments that I had [at the ATP Masters 1000] in Paris-Bercy in 2006, when I qualified for the Masters [Nitto ATP Finals]. Also the title [at the ATP Masters 1000] in Hamburg.”
2006 was a standout year. Robredo played 78 matches, with a record of 49-29, and at the ATP Masters 1000 in Paris (l. to Nikolay Davydenko in SF) he qualified for the Nitto ATP Finals. A few months earlier, he had claimed his first Masters 1000 title in Hamburg, where he beat Jiri Novak, Florent Serra, Paul-Henri Mathieu, David Ferrer, Mario Ancic and Radek Stepanek.
In April he lost his second final in Barcelona to an emerging talent named Rafael Nadal. He also earned another title in Bastad. All of these results catapulted him to his career high of No. 5 in the ATP Rankings on 28 August 2006.
His season was capped off in November, when he was among the year’s top eight players at the Tennis Masters Cup in Shanghai. Although he failed to get through the group stages, he left with a victory against James Blake.
“I also have other great memories like the US Open match against [Juan Carlos] Ferrero that I won in the fifth-set tiebreak and beating Roger Federer [at the 2013 US Open) and Novak Djokovic [in Cincinnati in 2014],” the Catalonian said.
However, it is not only the victories he has fond memories of. “There were other unforgettable titles, but one of my favourite moments was the defeat to Andy Murray in the final in Valencia. It was a spectacular match. There were many really wonderful moments,” Robredo said.
In 2007, he earned himself two more titles in Sopot and Metz, while in 2008 he reclaimed the Bastad title. 2009 saw him produce a fantastic South American swing, with trophies in Costa do Sauipe and Buenos Aires, while he also took the spoils in Santiago in 2011. And in 2013 he enjoyed something of a second youth with titles in Casablanca and Umag.
Robredo won his final ATP Tour title in Umag in 2013. Photo Credit: AFP/Getty Images.
At 31 years of age he earned himself the nickname of ‘Marathon Man’ at Roland Garros. “I still get goosebumps when I think about the French fans on their feet,” Robredo admitted.
“The entire journey has been really wonderful,” Robredo said. “I love tennis and being able to enjoy this world and being part of it is really wonderful. I have always had moments throughout these years that are more memorable because of a title or a special victory, but that doesn’t mean there weren’t moments when I didn’t win that weren’t also spectacular. I’m happy with my whole career, and with all the years I was able to be there.”
Now after losing against Bernabe Zapata Miralles at his home tournament, where he started his journey in 1999, is time for Robredo to stand aside.
“There was no better place than here to retire,” Robredo said. “The time has come. Last year I still wasn’t ready, I thought I could play a bit more, but I didn’t like playing without fans, so I was
much more excited to say goodbye this year the way I wanted to.”
TRIBUTES TO TOMMY
“Tommy, you’ve reached the moment that nobody wants to reach. I want to congratulate you on the great career you’ve had, which has been so long, and with so much success. I wish you the best in this new phase, your new life, which will also bring exciting challenges. Sending you a big hug and wishing you all the best.” — Carlos Moya
“It is an important moment for you, so I wanted to support you as much as we can and congratulate you on the career you’ve had and everything you’ve achieved. Welcome to the retiree club. Sending a big hug, look after yourself.” — Juan Carlos Ferrero
“Tommy, the time to retire has arrived. It happens to us all sooner or later. You’ve played for so many years, we’ve shared many great moments since we were juniors: good ones, bad ones, injuries, titles, victories, defeats... so I wish you the best. Congratulations on the great career you’ve had and I wish you the best for what is to come. We retire young and there is a lot to do.” — David Nalbandian
“Congratulations on everything you’ve achieved in your great career. You can be proud and relax. I hope you now enjoy your family and your daughter, who is beautiful. It has been a pleasure to share all those years that we have enjoyed since we were young. I hope you really enjoy yourself! You are a great player and a great person. Congratulations.” — David Ferrer
“I imagine you’ll be very emotional about this heartfelt tribute. I would like to send you a big hug from Argentina, and congratulate you for the career you’ve had. I remember really tough matches we’ve played as juniors and professionals. It was a pleasure to share my career with you. You are a true example for the children in how professional you are on and off the court. I hope you are very happy in the new phase of your life you are starting.” — Guillermo Coria
“First of all, I wanted to congratulate you on your great career. I think you have set an example with your professionalism and everything a tennis player needs to achieve everything you have. Also, I would like to tell you that you were the best roommate I could hope to have. I’m really glad to see you so happy in this new phase of your life.” — Feliciano Lopez
“Congratulations on the great career you’ve had. The truth is that you can be very proud of the career you’ve earned in the world of tennis. You’ve been a great companion and I’m sure we’ll miss you on the courts. I wish you the best for your future and I’m sure you will continue to triumph.” — Albert Costa
“You’ve had such a great career, you’re an incredible player and, as I have always said, you’re an example to follow because of all the values you instill in everyone. Your time as Tommy the tennis player is over, but another one is beginning with a great family and a beautiful daughter. I wish you the best.” — Marc Lopez
“I wish you the best send-off possible. You deserve it, after the great career you’ve had. I wish you the best.” — Fernando Verdasco