Tommy meets The Who

Brian Cady brianinatlanta2001 at
Fri Jun 29 06:17:50 CDT 2007

>From The Times:

The Robredos don't know what day it is
- Neil Harman

Tommy Robredo finally discovered the night before last what the fuss was all about. The Spaniard, ranked No 7 in the world, was named Tommy because of his father Ángel's infatuation with The Who and their famous rock opera by the same name.

When the opportunity came to watch the band perform at the Wembley Arena, it was too good to refuse. Robredo invited his father to fly in from Barcelona for a special gift, a concert of his heroes.

The night was, Ángel Robredo said, one of the most emotional of his life. He left yesterday morning on the first flight home--a decision that proved to be apt as Robredo lost to Wayne Arthurs, of Australia, failing to negotiate the second round of Wimbledon for the sixth time in seven visits.

And yet, the appointment with one of the iconic bands of British rock nearly did not happen at all. A courtesy van was booked from the All England Club to take the party the 20 miles or so across West London but it became submerged in traffic.

Fearing that they might miss the start of the concert, the Robredo group leapt from the car and made for Hammersmith Tube station on foot. Even then, the entire journey took the best part of two hours. Consolation was to be immense.

The father and son, as well as Etienne de Villiers, the president and chairman of the ATP Tour, were introduced to Roger Daltrey and Pete Townshend and handed over a cheque for $15,000 (about £7,500) to the Teenage Cancer Trust, The Who's chosen charity.

"It was one of those very special occasions, something that will probably never happen again," Robredo said. "My father couldn't believe it at all."

Robredo has already proved to be a bit of an exhibitionist. He is appearing naked in this month's edition of Cosmopolitan magazine in aid of the Everyman Male Cancer Campaign, which raises awareness of and funds for research into testicular and prostate cancer. 

He said: "When they first asked me to get naked, I thought 'No way!' But when I heard it was for charity, I was like 'OK, it's for a good reason.' "

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