(June 2, 2013) -- In a week that has been characterized by the efforts of players aged 30 or older (five reached the round of 16 on the men's side), Tommy Robredo is carrying the flag for his senior brothers on tour.
Statisfaction: 30-Somethings Having Success at Roland Garros
The 31-year-old Spaniard overcame a two-set deficit for the third consecutive match on Sunday, overcoming Nicolas Almagro 6-7(5), 3-6, 6-4, 6-4, 6-4 on Court Suzanne Lenglen in Paris.
The International Tennis Federation confirmed after the match that Robredo is the first man to achieve the feat since the legendary Frenchman Henri Cochet did it way back in 1927.
Robredo came back from two sets down against Igor Sijsling of the Netherlands in the second round, then saved four points against Gael Monfils in the third round to do it again.
On Sunday, after dropping the first two sets to Almagro—a player that he had never defeated in five previous encounters—lightning struck a third time for the Spaniard.
With the crowd chanting “Tommy! Tommy” Robredo played flawlessly for the final three sets, and when it was over he broke down in tears in his chair as the crowd continued to cheer.
Cochet achieved his feat in the quarterfinals, semifinals and final of Wimbledon in 1927. But until today, nobody had ever achieved the feat on the terre battue of Roland Garros.
Robredo, whose streak of 41 consecutive Grand Slam appearances ended in 2011 when he had to withdraw from Roland Garros, has now matched his best Grand Slam performance by reaching the quarterfinals. He was also a quarterfinalist at Roland Garros in 2003, 2005, 2007 and 2009, but nothing compares to the remarkable manner in which Robredo has progressed through the draw this year.
Robredo's inspiring feat even drew high praise from the king of Roland Garros emo, Gustavo Kuerten:
And Kuerten wasn't the only one blown away by Robredo's heroics:
Robredo will face off against David Ferrer in an all-Spanish quarterfinal on Tuesday. Ferrer might want to play it safe and lose the first set.
(Photo Credit: Tennischannel.com)