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Tommy Robredo will have his cake... and eat it too

Spain's Tommy Robredo hits a forehand in practice
by Dan Imhoff
Wednesday 26 June 2013

Tommy Robredo’s doing a fine job of keeping his Wimbledon victories on the shorter side after his recent Roland Garros feats, where the Spaniard rallied from two sets down in three straight matches on his way to the quarter-finals.

In a battle of the 31-year-olds, the Spaniard took down grasscourt expert Nicholas Mahut 7-6(3), 6-1, 7-6(5) for his second straight-sets triumph in as many matches.

Mahut was coming off his first tour title at ’s-Hertogenbosch last week, where he downed world No.11 Stanislas Wawrinka in the final.

Ranked 240 at the time, the Frenchman was the lowest-ranked player to win a title since 2008, but on Wednesday, his solid run on grass was brought to an abrupt halt in the second round.

“I played against a guy who is very difficult to play on grass, and I [beat] him in three sets,” Robredo said.

“I'm feeling the ball perfectly. I'm touching the ball all the time clear.

“I'm having good luck because a match like today, two tie-breaks, if two points is from him the first tie-break maybe it would be 7-6 for him and the match would change.”

Buoyed by the self-belief gained from his remarkable run in Paris, which included saving four match points against Gael Monfils, Robredo is relishing his late-career resurgence.

“Well, obviously when you come back from three match being two sets to love down, you get a lot of confidence because you believe you can do it in all the games, no?” he said.

“But anyway, that was clay, here is grass. It's another tournament. It won't happen every day, no, to come back from two sets to love down.”

After a quick hold for 3-0 in the second set, Robredo raced to 0-40 against the serve-volleying Mahut and broke with the Frenchman unable to scoop a dipping backhand off the grass.

Mahut called for a medical time-out to have his upper right leg heavily strapped, while trailing 0-5 in the second set. He managed to avoid the bagel before conceding the set, 6-1.

Robredo, ranked as high as No.5 in the world seven years ago, wrapped up the third-set tie-break with a running forehand pass up the line to book a third-round encounter with Andy Murray.

“I have nothing to lose. I'm enjoying. I'm playing great tennis. It's lovely to be in a Grand Slam playing one of the best players on Tour,” Robredo said.

“Also if he's British, so he's going to have the crowd, we're going to have Centre Court maybe. So it can be lovely to be in Centre Court here again.”

For now, the Spaniard is not casting any thoughts to his Murray showdown in two days.

“Now I prefer to enjoy, to relax, to go have a great dinner because I deserve it, with a chocolate cake with ice cream,” he said.

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