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Robredo ends Evans challenge
Dan Evans' sensational US Open run came to an end with a battling four-set defeat by 19th seed Tommy Robredo.
After three wins in qualifying and victories over Kei Nishikori and Bernard Tomic, the 23-year-old from Birmingham took to Louis Armstrong court knowing another win would probably earn him a shot at Roger Federer.
At two sets down, that looked mission impossible, but Evans battled back in the third set and had two set points in the fourth only for Robredo to respond and win 7-6 (8/6) 6-1 4-6 7-5 in three hours and 13 minutes.
Robredo has had his best results on clay but he is a former top-10 player and was looking to reach the fourth round in New York for the eighth time.
The 31-year-old is a lot more experienced at this level than either Nishikori or Tomic and has a reputation for being one of the most relentless competitors on tour.
At the French Open this year, he came back from two sets to love down in three successive matches to make the quarter-finals.
Evans, ranked 179, had been completely outplayed in the first set by Tomic before fighting back, and it did not bode well when he was broken in the second game here.
But the soon-to-be British number two looked to have settled well and he broke straight back when Robredo netted a forehand.
Evans was showing all his considerable skills - powering forehands and producing adroit volleys.
He played particularly well whenever he was under pressure on his serve and saved two set points in the 10th game, showing the composure that has marked out his performances on the big stage over the past couple of seasons.
Before here those had nearly all come in Davis Cup, and it was a decisive win over top-100 player Evgeny Donskoy in Britain's shock victory against Russia in April that set Evans on the path to living up to his talent.
He came very close to winning the tie-break, benefiting from some nervous play from Robredo to level at 6-6 only to blast two forehands long.
It was an extremely tough set for Evans to lose, and the disappointment carried into the second set.
His energy levels dropped and the errors flowed from his racket, but he regrouped in the third and got his reward.
Two double faults from Robredo gave Evans a chance at 4-4 and he took it with two more excellent volleys, choosing the perfect moment for his first break of the match.
That gave the British player the chance to serve for the set, and he took it expertly, pumping his fist as an ace flew past Robredo.
The Spaniard was the one looking weary now, calling the trainer to have his thigh massaged, and Evans had a golden chance for another break at the start of the fourth.
Robredo hung on, saving four break points, but it was Evans who had the spring in his step and, when another chance arrived in the fifth game, he took it, skipping back to his chair as his opponent laboured.
But Robredo knew it was crucial he reined in his opponent and he simply refused to let him hold for 4-2.
Holding serve was the problem for the 19th seed, though, and Evans broke once more.
Serving for the set he betrayed the first signs of nerves, double-faulting on his first set point and firing a wild forehand long on the second.
He saved one break point but missed a tough volley on the second, Robredo leaping into the air as he levelled at 5-5.
It was the final twist of a dramatic match as Robredo forced a match point and took it with a fine reaction volley.
Andy Murray has been a keen supporter of Evans during his successful summer and he said on Twitter during the fourth set: "Evo should be so proud whatever happens from now,amazing fighting,great attitude ,looks fresher than trob.. Never thought that would happen!"
Robredo also paid tribute to Evans, saying: "Obviously the other player was a great player. He was hitting the ball very hard, especially every time he had a forehand. The important thing is that I won. Hopefully Federer is going to win and I can play against him."