Robredo routs Gaudio to deny clay-court comeback dream

April 22nd, 2009 - 9:20 pm ICT by IANS  

Rafael Nadal Barcelona, April 22 (DPA) Clay-tough Spaniard Tommy Robredo ended the Barcelona Open dream of Gaston Gaudio as he hammered the former French Open champion out of the second round Wednesday.
Sixth seed Robredo, who trailed 4-3 in a series with the last match played in 2006, piled on a 7-6 (8-6), 6-1 win after being made to work in the opening set.

Gaudio, 30 year old and ranked 966th, was on a high after winning his first match since 2007 and now pointing at a wild card request for Roland Garros after claiming the Grand Slam there in 2004.

But Robredo, winner of eight of his nine titles - including two this season - on clay, showed the Argentine just how far he still has to go in the game with the victory in just over 90 minutes.

Gaudio was the 2002 Barcelona champion as he began what looked like a promising career. But he got off the rails a few seasons ago, sinking without a trace.

“I wanted to win badly in front of the Spanish fans,” said Robredo. “Gaston was making all of the errors and making it easier for me.

“But he showed what a great player he was by playing me tough in the first set, it was difficult for me to close it out. But after that I relaxed and finished the match much easier.”

Russian third seed Nikolay Davydenko continued his comeback after heel problems, advancing over French veteran Arnaud Clement 7-6 (7-2), 6-2 to improve to 4-0 against the 2001 Australian Open


Seventh-seeded Argentine David Nalbandian beat Russian Igor Kunitsyn 7-5, 6-4 while Czech ninth seed Radek Stepanek stopped Serb Janko Tipsarevic 7-6 (7-2), 6-0.

Rafael Nadal was lining up against Portuguese minnow Federico Gil as the Spanish powerhouse began play in the second round in search of a fifth straight title at the event.

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