Tommy Robredo: "I Want To Say Goodbye To Tennis In Front Of My people" - UBITENNIS
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Tommy Robredo: “I Want To Say Goodbye To Tennis In Front Of My people”

Now close to retiring, former No.5, Tommy Robredo looks back at his career, recalling pleasant memories and a good deal of self-awareness: “Very few players have been more professional than me.”



Flushing, NY, 2013, 3SEPT2013 US Open Tennis Championships. TOMMY ROBREDO JUBO DANCE

By Pellegrino Dell’Anno, translated by Michele Brusadelli


Hostalric is a quaint municipality in Catalonia with less than 3,000 inhabitants. It may not be known to many, but it means everything to Tommy Robredo.

It is the village where he was born almost forty years ago, and he is just as attached to it as he is to the Barcelona tournament, where he triumphed in 2004 and was runner up in 2006. No surprise it is the place he chose to bid his official farewell to tennis next month.

The Spaniard has never really recovered after the elbow injury he suffered at the beginning of 2016, but formally he is still a professional tennis player, and wishes to end his glorious career in front of his family, as he said, opening up to PuntodeBreak:

“I am thrilled about this last challenge, this last tournament I’m going to play in Barcelona, ​​even if I will try to play in Murcia as well, so as to get some pace and match play under my belt. My last flight will be at home, that’s the way I wanted to say goodbye to the tour, even though I’ve been missing for some time. My dream was to bid farewell to the public, to my people… last year could have been an option, but with COVID and everything it involved I didn’t even consider it. I couldn’t imagine saying goodbye without my parents being in the stands, so we decided to wait another year.”

Robredo has always been a man before being a tennis player, a passionate, instinctive, genuine man – many still remember the way he celebrated his win at the Hamburg Masters in 2006, ripping his t-shirt off – and above all, still thoroughly attached and grateful to tennis:

“Tennis gave me a lot, it taught me everything, it raised me, gave me the education and values ​​I still have. In tennis you fall and get back up every week, you learn how to win and how to lose, you rise to fame, you earn amazing money while you’re still very young, you’re constantly striving to reach your goals… What a normal person experiences in 70 years, players experience in 20.”

There were many memorable moments of Robredo’s career. He is considered one of the most important Spanish tennis players of the 21st century with his12 ATP titles and peaked at No.5 in the ATP rankings. Yet, it is curious to see how very often, Robredo’s career was defined more by a famous defeat than a victory: On October 26th, 2014, in the ATP 500 Valencia final on indoor hardcourt, he lost to Andy Murray 6-3 6-7 (7) 6-7 (8) in an epic duel which lasted 3 hours and 20 minutes and also made history with its unique epilogue: Robredo jokingly showing Andy both middle fingers instead of shaking hands, then the two players warmly embracing at the net.

Robredo himself claims this is the match of his life: “It was the cruellest match of my career but, at the same time, it is one of the matches I have the best memories of. That match was spectacular, I’ve seen it several times and I always get goosebumps. We both played at an extraordinary level, as Djokovic and Nadal did at the 2012 Australian Open final. A match with five match points that I missed, and also with Andy, someone I really appreciate. After that we flew together to Paris-Bercy in his private plane: he was celebrating with champagne and I was in the back drinking water. It is a match that I lost but that I really treasure”.

That is only one of the marathons that the Spaniard played throughout his career, thanks to his mentality: “You have to be very strong physically, and then be very tough mentally, never give up until the end. Whenever I reached the fifth set, that always gave me a chance, because that was where I felt that the opponent was not as good as me, and luckily I was able to enjoy high level tennis on many occasions in my career. This is what really counts in that kind of match, the body and the mind.”

In line with his career as a humble, working-class hero who never aimed for fame, he ends the interview taking stock of a career that has spanned over 25 years, from 1998 to 2022 and left him with no great regrets.

And he concludes on a sweet note, recalling his qualities, and making it clear that nothing is born by chance: “I gave my best, this is one of the things I’m very happy with. Even if I talk about making different decisions throughout my career, I can actually blame myself for very few things, very few players have been more professional than me on a tennis court. I remember that my friends used to go to parties in the summer while I went to bed at midnight, but I was very focused on what I wanted, and that kind of effort didn’t mean paying no price. I have always been very disciplined in this respect, my father educated me that way, he taught me to work every day to achieve my goals.”

And those goals, Tommy, rest assured you have achieved them all, especially in the hearts of those who still cherish your memories and ever will.

Barcelona is waiting for you for one last, great battle.


The Year-End Rankings: The Rise Of Alcaraz And The Eternals, Djokovic and Nadal

Image via ATP Twitter



By Roberto Ferri

Let’s start our last article on the ATP rankings by quoting the words which are said to be the last of emperor Augustus: “The play is over, applaud”.


We cannot but applaud Novak Djokovic, six-time ATP Finals winner just like Roger Federer. And we applaud the season, which, for good or ill, has been unique. Just consider the most striking events: Carlos Alcaraz rising to No. 1, Roger Federer’s retirement, all the issues involving Djokovic and the Wimbledon affair.  

The top positions of the ranking have been significantly impacted by Djokovic’s absence from two Majors (Australian Open and US Open), four Masters 1000 (Indian Wells, Miami Open, Canadian Open, Cincinnati) and by ATP’s decision to not award points for Wimbledon.

If we compare the ATP rankings published after the ATP Finals in 2021 and 2022, this fact is clearly noticeable. 

22 NOVEMBER 2021

19Bautista AgutSpain2260
20Carreno BustaSpain2230

14 NOVEMBER 2022:

13Carreno BustaSpain2495

Novak Djokovic ended 2021 with 4720 points more than Carlos Alcaraz; also Medvedev and Tsitsipas earned more points than the Spaniard, who would not have reached 7000 points even counting the 135 points he wasn’t awarded at Wimbledon.

A few comments on the 2022 rankings:

  • Casper Ruud, the ATP Finals finalist, concludes his excellent year in third place, overtaking Stefanos Tsitsipas with an impressive final rush.
  • Novak Djokovic and Rafa Nadal are the only top 10 players born in the 80s; the other 8 were born in the second half of the 90s.
  • Cameron Norrie and Pablo Carreno Busta are the survivors of the lost generation, born between 1990 and 1995 and that was most overpowered by the Big Four dominance. 
  • Only North America, beyond Europe, is represented at the very highest: Auger Aliassime, Fritz, Shapovalov and Tiafoe.
  • Holger Rune has gained 92 positions since the start of the year. Carlos Alcaraz “just” 31.
  • A final note: Kei Nishikori ends 2022 without a ranking. Does this suggest he’s going to retire?


Owing to earned and dropped points, as well as results in the Challenger events, five players in the top 100 have achieved their career highest this week:

Emil Ruusuvuori – 40

Quentin Halys – 64

Christopher O’Connell – 79

Roman Safiullin – 89

Nuno Borges – 91

A special applause for the 20-year old Ben Shelton, a bright prospect for USA tennis, who has made his debut in the top 100. Thanks to his victory in the Champaign-Urbana Challenger he’s now ranked 97.

Is that all? Not yet! Just a quiz for everybody: which was the last year which saw the first two places in the rankings occupied at the end of the season by two players of the same nationality?

That’s really all for now. We’ll be back in 2023.

Translated by Kingsley Elliot Kaye

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ATP Finals Daily Preview: Novak Djokovic Faces Casper Ruud in the Championship Match



Novak Djokovic on Saturday in Turin (

The biggest ATP non-Major final of 2022 takes place on Sunday in Turin, Italy.


2022 has been a bizarre year in the career of Novak Djokovic.  It started with his deportation from Australia, forcing the unvaccinated Djokovic to miss the first Major of the year.  That would be one of six prominent events that Novak would miss this season due to COVID-19 entry rules (Australian Open, Indian Wells, Miami, Montreal, Cincinnati, US Open).  Yet Djokovic was still able to accumulate a record of 41-7, and win his 21st Slam at Wimbledon.  He is now 17-1 at indoor ATP events this fall, and will end the year as the World No.5  With a win on Sunday, he would tie Roger Federer for most all-time ATP Finals titles.

2022 has been a groundbreaking year in the career of Casper Ruud.  He had already established himself as a top 10 player, but prior to this season, was predominantly thought of as a clay court specialist, with five of his six ATP titles coming on that surface.  Yet that all changed this season, starting in Miami when he reached his first Masters 1000 finals.  Casper would go on to also reach his first two Major finals, in Paris in New York.  He is now 51-21, and into his fourth big final of the year.

Sunday’s action in Turin starts at 4:00pm local time with the doubles championship match, featuring Nikola Mektic and Mate Pavic (4) vs. Rajeev Ram and Joe Salisbury (2).  Both teams are an undefeated 4-0 this past week.  This is Ram and Salisbury’s second consecutive year in the final, having lost a year ago to Pierre-Hugues Herbert and Nicolas Mahut.  Mektic won this title two years ago alongside Wesley Koolhof, while this is Pavic’s first appearance in the final of this event.  These teams have not met since the semifinals of this tournament last year, when Ram and Salisbury prevailed.

Casper Ruud (3) Novak Djokovic (7) – Not Before 7:00pm

Ruud is 3-1 this past week, with his only loss coming in a dead rubber against Rafael Nadal.  Prior to his three top 10 victories across the last seven days, Casper only had two all season (Zverev, Auger-Aliassime).  And he is yet to win a title above 250-level in his career, with the aforementioned three losses this year in big finals.  Ruud was a semifinalist here a year ago in his ATP Finals debut.

Djokovic is an undefeated 4-0 this week, which includes an arduous effort to defeat Daniil Medvedev on Friday in a dead rubber.  Novak is now 10-3 against top 10 opposition in 2022, having taken nine of his last 10 against the top 10.  He is 4-2 in finals this year, though he lost his most recent one, two weeks in Bercy, to Holger Rune.  Djokovic is an eight-time finalist here, though he hasn’t won this title since 2015.

Djokovic has played a lot more tennis across the last two days than Ruud.  On Friday, Novak spent over three hours on court, while Ruud had the day off.  But Djokovic still looked plenty fresh for his semifinal on Saturday against Taylor Fritz, and was able to prevent the American from extending that tight contest to a third set.  Novak is 3-0 against Casper, which includes a straight-set victory at this same event a year ago.  And considering Ruud’s poor record in significant finals, Djokovic is a considerable favorite to win his sixth title at the ATP Finals on Sunday.

Sunday’s full Order of Play is here.

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ATP Finals: Fritz Close But No… Final, Djokovic Advances

Novak Djokovic beats Taylor Fritz in two tie-breaks and is just one win away from his sixth title at Nitto ATP Finals



Novak Djokovic - 2022 Nitto ATP Finals Turin (photo Twitter @atptour)

[7] N. Djokovic b. [8] T. Fritz 7-6(5) 7-6(5)


Even when physically not at his best, Novak Djokovic can still count on his incredible ability to play the most effective tennis in the most important moment. Of course, it doesn’t hurt if the opponent misses an easy shot while attempting to close out the set, but the pressure Djokovic puts on whomever is on the other side of the net makes even the easiest shot look a little bit harder.

The former world no. 1 has put together a clinical display of efficiency during the first semifinal of the Nitto ATP Finals in Turin edging Taylor Fritz by two points in the tie-breaker of each set to reach his eighth finals in the end-of-year Championship.

It was not the best Djokovic, and it was not the best match: lots of errors on both sides, and a huge opportunity for Fritz to take the match to the distance when he served at 5-4 in the second set and then missed an easy backhand sitter to go a set-point up at 40-30, blaming an idiot spectator who indeed shouted in the middle of the point, when he really should have been able to put away that point blindfolded.

Fritz did not start the match in the best possible way: 10 unforced errors during the first five games, a break conceded at love at 2-2 and Djokovic appeared destined for a relatively quiet afternoon. But it was not going to be that easy: errors started flowing also on the Serbian side, and Fritz was able to equalize at 3-3. A tie-break was then needed to decide the winner of the first set, and the deciding point was a laser forehand down the line by Djokovic who swept point and set at 6-5 and headed off to the toilet for a comfort break after taking a one-set advantage.

But the break did not do him much good: unforced errors kept coming from the baseline, and Fritz blitzed 2-0 up with a break. At 4-3, the American wowed the Italian crowd with a magical backhand stop-volley to recover a service game where he found himself down 0-30, but when it was time to serve out the set, he missed that easy backhand we described earlier to give Djokovic another chance to close out a match in two sets.

And another chance is the last thing Djokovic should be gifted, although on a day like today, with Christmas time upon us, gift trading became the thing of the match. Two great points at 4-4 in the tie-break warmed the 12,000-strong crowd at Pala Alpitour to what could have possibly been a great end of the set, but Djokovic first earned a match point to be played on his serve with a good action from the baseline closed by a volley and then squandered it all with a very unusual unforced error on a routine backhand. But on his second match point, just a minute later, Fritz badly missed an inside-out forehand putting an end to the match and gifting Djokovic a chance to win his sixth title at the Nitto ATP Finals, the first in Turin.

On Sunday he will face either Casper Ruud or Andrey Rublev: he has never lost to Ruud in three previous matches (3-0) and the only time he did not beat Rublev (2-1) was last spring in Belgrade in the final of the tournament organized by his family.

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