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Robredo Ends Djokovic's Career Golden Masters Bid

Cincinnati, U.S.A.

Robredo© Getty ImagesTommy Robredo last beat a World No. 1 11 years ago.

Novak Djokovic’s hopes for a Career Golden Masters have been put on hold for one more year. The World No. 1 fell to Spaniard Tommy Robredo 7-6(6), 7-5 on Thursday afternoon in the third round of the Western & Southern Open.

Last year, in his first attempt to complete his career sweep of all nine ATP World Tour Masters 1000 tournaments, Djokovic had lost to American John Isner in the Cincinnati quarter-finals. He also finished runner-up here in 2008, ’09, ’11, ’12.

"Just many, many, many things are not clicking these two weeks on hard courts," said Djokovic. "It's unfortunate, but it's more than obvious I'm not playing even close to what I'm supposed to play. I have to keep on working and trying to get better for US Open."

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Robredo was understandably elated to claim just his second victory over a World No. 1. "It's happened only two times in 13, 14 years of my career, so I have to be very, very happy. Obviously right now I'm still in the tournament [so] the important thing is to try to keep winning.

"But when I finish my career and when I will be sitting at home and talking with friends, I will remember days like this. I beat Hewitt in Paris a long time ago. Now I beat [Djokovic]. Last year I beat Roger in the US Open in a great match. There are a couple of matches that will be in my memory for years."

The top-seeded Djokovic saved three set points from 3-6 down in the opening tie-break, before Robredo recovered the mini-break and hit an ace on his next opportunity.

In the second set, the Serb double-faulted in the 10th game to bring up two match points for the two-time Cincinnati semi-finalist. He fought back to stay in the match, but the relief proved short-lived. Robredo earned another match point in his next return game and smashed an overhead winner for his first victory over a World No. 1 in 11 years.

The 32 year old defeated Djokovic for the first time since their first FedEx ATP Head2Head meeting in 2005, breaking a six-match losing streak to his opponent.

Robredo, the No. 16 seed, will next face No. 6 seed and countryman David Ferrer, who dismissed Mikhail Youzhny 7-5, 6-0 in 81 minutes. The 32-year-old Ferrer improved to 4-5 in his FedEx ATP Head2Head series against the Russian, and equalled his personal-best runs in Cincinnati, where he reached the quarter-finals in 2006 and '07 (15-10 record).

Djokovic also bowed out in the third round last week at the Rogers Cup in Toronto (l. to Tsonga), his first tournament since winning the Wimbledon title (d. Federer) and reclaiming the No. 1 Emirates ATP Ranking.

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