First of all want to remind that in those days 16 years ago competitions in Germany still belonged to Masters level, big tournament.
We are watching tennis now in times where any relatively big win got by any player outside TOP-4 would be like a little shok. Delpo and his US-09 run was discussed for so long time not only due to "fluke/ no fluke question", but freshness. It is impossible to imagine any journeyman to take something big (even title "500", Golubev though
) now. If it happens with Fedjodal around, even in 10 years I believe mostly everyone will remember the smallest detail. For finding last time when "random" player won a Masters we should go just to... Rome-03, IMO, almost ten years ago! Mantilla got the title after painful to watch final with Federer.
Though, Felix was top-10 player, won a lot of other tournaments (he was Almagro of his generation to some extant), had even semi at Slam. One word - decent. You couldn`t wait for him to grab title, but Mantilla was well known sportsman with great accomplishments in the bag.
Really unique situation happened in Hamburg in 1996. I guess not a lot of people know or can remind guy named Roberto Carretero. His results wouldn`t impress imagination - he never was in 3d round at Slam, 1/5 with top-10, never played on grass, had only one victory on hard in ATP matches (due to opponent retired), never was in TOP-50... Challenger rate player. But he succeeded to get to one final and triumphed there owing to what his name would stay among stars like Henman or Ljubicic. He won 1 Masters title.
I didn`t follow tennis back then and wonder whether can anyone remember what happened that spring? After being on the ropes against Arrese in 1st round Roberto lost against two TOP-20 players only 6 games and further knockouted future RG champion Kafelnikov 5 and 2! Amazing, in the final he returned from set down to overcome Corretja (two tomes RG finalist). How could it happen?
If make comparison with current situation, it must be someone like Lorenzi to take Rome beating Ferrer, Almagro and maybe even one of TOP-3 on his way to title. Can`t imagine what a bomb it would be it happening.
So, can anyone share with younger fans what that player Roberto Carretero was and how he did this amazing run?