Former champion Marat Safin traded booming groundstrokes with Tommy Robredo for three sets before fading to a 4-6 7-6 6-4 6-0 defeat by the 15th-seeded Spaniard on Friday in the second round of the US Open.
Safin, the 2000 champion, lost the second-set tiebreak 7-4 and battled Robredo on serve in the third set before errors began to seep into his game as the Spaniard broke him in the 10th game for a two sets to one lead.
That seemed to take the life out of the 44th-ranked Russian, who went down meekly in a 24-minute fourth set.
Robredo, pin-pointing his topspin forehands and cut backhands from the baseline, advanced to a third-set match against either 19th seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga of France or Carlos Moya.
Safin failed to successfully follow up his spirited run at Wimbledon, where he reached the semi-finals before falling to Roger Federer.
(Reporting by Larry Fine, Editing by Claudia Parsons)