Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Nadal to see a familiar face Wednesday night

When Rafael Nadal takes the court tomorrow night for his quarterfinal match on Arthur Ashe, an old friend will be standing across from him -- and it's not Roger Federer, unfortunately.

No. 19 seed Tommy Robredo, the man responsible for Federer's dismissal from this year's Open, draws the seemingly impossible task of trying to upset Nadal to reach the semifinals. No one in the world is playing better than Nadal right now as he seeks his 20th consecutive hard court win this season, and part of Nadal's success in 2013 can be attributed to none other than Tommy Robredo, his fellow countryman, former doubles teammate, and next opponent.

2008 Monte Carlo Master champions
The two Spaniards trained together in Barcelona earlier this year prior to Nadal's first tournament back since Wimbledon in 2012. Little did they know at the time, they'd be facing each other in the US Open quarterfinals eight months later.

Robredo and Nadal in Barcelona
The friendship will be put aside for the day, at least for a couple hours at night, as they battle to advance to face either Richard Gasquet or David Ferrer, who is also from Spain, in the semifinals. The only other time Nadal and Robredo throw the camaraderie aside: when Real Madrid and FC Barcelona are playing football. Nadal is a big Real Madrid supporter; Robredo is a lifelong Barca fan. That means we have the "Clasico" of tennis at Arthur Ashe tomorrow night.