Roger Federer urged to retire after US Open humiliation
World's greatest player is beaten in straight sets by Tommy Robredo. Is this the end of an era?
ROGER FEDERER is out of the US Open after being beaten by Tommy Robredo. The fourth round defeat caps a miserable couple of months for the 32-year-old Swiss star, who was beaten in the second round of Wimbledon by Sergiy Stakhovsky, the world number 116, in one of the most sensational results in the history of the All-England club.
This time it was a 31-year-old Spaniard who humiliated Federer, arguably the greatest male player in the history of the game with 17 Grand Slam titles to his name.
Five of those titles have been at Flushing Meadow but the 7-6 (7-3) 6-3 6-4 defeat inflicted by Robredo in under two-and-a-half hours is further evidence of Federer's diminishing powers.
"I kind of feel like I beat myself, without taking any credit away from Tommy," reflected Federer, an honest assessment from a player who converted just two of 16 break points and made 43 unforced errors. "I kind of self destructed… It was a frustrating performance today."
Federer has been expected to make short work of Robredo, the 19th seed, and set up a mouth-watering quarter-final clash with Rafa Nadal. The pair have never met in the US Open and perhaps they now never will if Federer's career continues to decline.
Instead it is Robredo who will play Nadal in the last eight after his straight sets win over Federer. The Spaniard had taken four sets to see off British unknown Dan Evans in the previous round but he found the going easier against Federer. "It's amazing,” declared Robredo. "For me, Roger for the moment is the best player of all times. And to beat him in a huge stadium like the US Open and in a Grand Slam… it's like a dream."
The defeat means it will be the first year since 2002 that Federer has failed to reach any Grand Slam final, but the Swiss star dismissed talk of retirement. "I've definitely got to go back to work and come back stronger, get rid of this loss now as quick as I can, forget about it, because that's not how I want to play from here on," he said.
But others are now calling on the great man to call it a day rather than continue to suffer embarrassment at the hands of players who, up until a year ago, he would have dispatched in clinical fashion. "This wasn't the Roger Federer of old, nor the Roger Federer of the recent past," writes Chris Chase in USA Today. "This is the natural aging process that happens to all athletes, it's just more pronounced in a brutal one-on-one sport like tennis." ·