My last chapter was about Tommy Robredo, the Spanish Champion who has lived in the shadow of some more famous countrymen for quite some time now. Robredo's season has been soul destroying to say the least as his match point conversion rate in title matches recently has been disastrous. So what do you do if you can't convert a match point or maybe 10 of them in two title matches over the past month or so ? Simple, you keep turning up with your racket and a philosophical attitude.
The Paribas Masters currently underway in Paris has the who's who of Men's Professional Tennis playing with the exception of an injured and out of sorts Rafael Nadal, his season over. This particular event will have the Tennis World watching intently as the Swiss genius Mr Federer has the chance to reclaim the number 1 spot. It would be fitting if he reached the final along with Novak which I am certain would make for a title match of huge proportions, the winner to be crowned King for the year.
Only two can get there, so what about Tommy ? Well at his current standing of World Number 17 Tommy Robredo will go into a break toward the end of the year with a few questions to ask of himself. The showdown of the best eight players is well out of his grasp even if a couple get injured. So at a rather 'respectable' ranking and around 1.5 Million this year in prize money does the Spaniard bury his head in the towel and feel sorry for himself after his last two heartbreaking losses ?
Tommy is a former top ten player so he knows he is capable of a more than just matching it with the best in the World but his confidence would surely have taken a pounding lately. So for him to be at 5-5 in a third set tie breaker in his very next match , this time in Paris he would surely have been asking some questions of himself. Vasek Pospisil of Canada can play the game, he is half of the current Wimbledon Doubles Champion team so this match was a first round match that was worthy of perhaps a round of 16 , not one to start proceedings.
Robredo is a seasoned campaigner, he has already beaten World Number 1 Novak Djokovic this year in Cincinnati and last year he beat Federer in straight sets at the US Open. The first round match against the Canadian in Paris however was a match that could have gone either way from a set all and five all in the final set tie breaker.
You always feel for players who are at the end of their careers in any sport and you just want them to have one more title to go out on. He was perhaps two points away from a ranking of around 12 or 13 if he had converted against Murray in both China and Valencia yet he has to be content with where he currently sits.
So it pleased me greatly to read that Tommy had at last won a close match, 7-5 in the tie breaker against a player who has plenty more years ahead of him to figure out a way to win the close one's.
He now plays Kei Nishikori in the second round, it doesn't get any easier. An older, wiser head against the exuberance and talent of youth , it has the makings of another epic match. I just hope for Robredo's sake it doesn't go to another final set tie breaker.
The questions a player asks of them self at that point in a match are one's that require a calm set of answers and only the best players win the tight one's on a regular basis. All part of the fun of playing tennis........