NEW YORK -- It still seems impossible.
The scoreboard reads that 31-year-old Tommy Robredo, who had only won three of 27 sets and never a match from 32-year-old Roger Federer, who had never even won a match against the now retired Andy Roddick, stands as a U.S. Open men’s quarter-finalist.
The seventh-seeded Federer, a five-time winner here, lost to Robredo, 7-6 (3), 6-3, 6-4, on Monday in the fourth round of the U.S. Open.
As Federer took off his headband at the net, he managed to shake hands and give Robredo a tiny smile. The Louis Armstrong Stadium crowd gave Federer -- who has 17 Grand Slam titles, the most ever -- a standing ovation. Federer barely managed a small wave to the fans.
Federer, who had been scheduled to play on Arthur Ashe Stadium but whose match was pushed to the smaller, noisier Louis Armstrong Court because of rain during the day, had not lost this early at the U.S. Open since 2002.
It means Federer and second-seeded Rafael Nadal, who have played 31 times, will still never have played here.
“It's amazing, isn’t it? Unbelievable," Robredo said on the court after the match. "I had been struggling with Roger, 10 times losing. What are we going to do? Try my best.”
Federer only won two of 16 break points, while Robredo took four of seven. Federer had 43 unforced errors to 26 by Robredo.