Rome - Frenchman Jeremy Chardy caught new father Roger Federer on the hop
and Rafael Nadal had to fight to survive as leading seeds were tested by
Frenchmen in Wednesday's second round of the ATP-WTA Rome Masters.
Federer fell to Jeremy Chardy after missing on a match point to go down to a wind-blown 1-6, 6-3, 7-6 (8/6) defeat.
was manhandled by Gilles Simon before the Spaniard came up with a
third-set recovery in a 7-6 (7/1), 6-7 (4/7), 6-2 win lasting nearly
three and a half hours in chilly night conditions.
The seven-time champion wasted a match point in the 12th game of the second set and lost the ensuing tiebreaker.
It took a massive effort in the third to squeeze out the narrow win.
loss came barely a week after the 32-year-old became father to his
second set of twins, boys this time round as opposed to girls the first
"Unfortunately, when I had the lead I couldn't stretch
it. That's how it happened today. We both struggled at time in the wind -
at the end it was a shot here or there that decided the match," said
The fourth seed, who has never won the Rome title,
decided to come and have a go on the clay of the Foro Italico after
consulting with wife Mirka and his team.
Conditions were brutal for a match played amid great bursts of red clay blowing regularly through the air.
conditions made it difficult to prepare a proper game plan or execute
the way you wanted. You can't take as much risk, you just put the ball
in play rather than going for it," said Federer.
Federer swept the opening set but began to fade in the second as a charged-up Chardy made his move.
Federer, who salvaged seven of eight break points in the final set, saved a first match point.
But he could not touch a freak Chardy crosscourt return which landed on his shoelaces.
seed Tomas Berdych started his week by beating Dmitry Tursunov 6-4, 6-3
while seventh seed Andy Murray took revenge for a defeat a year ago as
he beat Marcel Granollers to open with a 6-2, 7-5 victory.
"I did a
very good job, it was hard conditions: it affects significantly the way
you play and the way you would like to play," said Murray. "I tried to
serve high percentage.
"But you have to play the wind, try to use it in your advantage if you can. I thought I did a good job of that."
Murray will next face resurgent Austrian Jurgen Melzer, who beat Marin Cilic 6-2, 6-7 (5/7), 6-3.
France's Jo-Wilfried Tsonga earned his 300th career victory as he beat Kevin Anderson 7-6 (16/14), 7-6 (7/5).
There were also wins into the third round for Grigor Dimitrov, Mikhail Youzhny and Tommy Haas.
women's second-round play, Serena Williams showed no sign of the thigh
injury which forced her withdrawal from a Madrid semi-final as the top
seed beat Andrea Petkovic 6-2, 6-2.
"It broke my heart to pull out
of Madrid, especially being the defending champion. But I knew that I
wanted to play today," said Williams. "I'm not at 100 per cent but it's
Madrid winner Maria Sharapova remained unbeaten
on clay this season with a defeat of Monica Puig 6-3, 7-5, while Madrid
runner-up Simona Halep, seeded fourth, beat Madison Keys 5-7, 6-0, 6-1,
then retired, citing an abdominal muscle strain.
"I'll fly to Bucharest now for treatment to allow me to train next week for the French Open," said the 2013 Rome semi-finalist.
Results on the fourth day of the Rome Masters on Wednesday (x denotes seeding):
Agnieszka Radwanska (POL x3) bt Paola Ormaechea (ARG) 6-3, 6-2
Samantha Stosur (AUS) bt Elena Vesnina (RUS) 6-2, 6-3
Christina McHale (USA) bt Camilla Giorgi (ITA) 1-6, 6-3, 6-1
Carla Suarez Navarro (ESP x13) bt Venus Williams (USA) 6-4, 6-2
Varvara Lepchenko (USA) bt Sloane Stephens (USA x16) 6-2, 6-2
Francesca Schiavone (ITA) bt Garbine Muguruza (ESP) 3-6, 6-1, 7-6 (7/5)
Simona Halep (ROM x4) bt Madison Keys (USA) 5-7, 6-0, 6-1
Sara Errani (ITA x10) bt Ekaterina Makarova (RUS) 6-2, 6-3
Serena Williams (USA x1) bt Andrea Petkovic (GER) 6-2, 6-2
Ana Ivanovic (SRB x11) bt Alize Cornet (FRA) 7-6 (7/1), 7-5
Maria Sharapova (RUS x8) bt Monica Puig (PUR) 6-3, 7-5
Flavia Pennetta (ITA x12) bt Belinda Bencic (SUI) 6-2, 2-6, 6-3
Andy Murray (GBR x7) bt Marcel Granollers (ESP) 6-2, 7-5
Jurgen Melzer (AUT) bt Marin Cilic (CRO) 6-2, 6-7 (5/7), 6-3
Ivan Dodig (CRO) bt Lukas Rosol (CZE) 6-1, 6-2
Jeremy Chardy (FRA) BT Roger Federer (SUI x4) 1-6, 3-6, 7-6 (8/6)
Tommy Haas (GER x15) bt Igor Sijsling (NED) 7-6 (8/6), 6-1
Mikhail Youzhny (RUS x14) bt Andrey Golubev (KAZ) 7-5, 4-1, retired
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (FRA x11) bt Kevin Anderson (RSA) 7-6 (16/14), 7-6 (7/5)
Grigor Dimitrov (BUL x12) bt Ivo Karlovic (CRO) 7-6 (7/3), 6-4
Ernests Gulbis (LAT) bt Stephane Robert (FRA) 6-7 (1/7), 6-4, 6-3
Tomas Berdych (CZE x6) bt Dmitry Tursunov (RUS) 6-4, 6-3
Rafael Nadal (ESP x1) bt Gilles Simon (FRA) 7-6 (7/1), 6-7 (4/7), 6-2