17-time Grand Slam champion Roger Federer suffered his earliest exit from a Masters 1000 event in four years, when he lost his opening round match-up at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia to France’s Jeremy Chardy.
Federer appeared to be off to a sizzling start in Rome, as he led Jeremy Chardy 6-1 in the opening set and was looking to storm through the remainder of the contest. That was simply not the case, as Chardy tightened up his game and began to produce far fewer errors, while Federer’s seemed to be increasing gradually. Roger woud hit more winners than Chardy in that set but would also make 20 unforced errors, which eventually cost him the set. The Swiss No. 2 would go on to loss the second set 6-3, before going down a break in the fifth game of the deciding set.
Roger battled through a tough deuce game on his serve, which kept him at 3-4 and still down a break of serve. The following game would take the better part of ten minutes, until finally Chardy hit a shot straight into the net to surrender his break advantage and even the score at 4-4 in the final set. Soon afterwards the two competitors were locked in a tiebreak.
The Swiss No. 2 would take the opening point, but would lose the next three straight points to fall 1-3 in the breaker. He was down 2-4 at the change of ends, and was clearly not looking like himself. He would claw his way to 5-5 on Chardy’s serve, where the Frenchman would hit a double fault to give Federer his first match point of the day, which he would save in tremendous fashion for 6-6. Two minutes later Chardy would hit the winning point to send Federer home.
The 32-year-old was playing his first match since he and his wife, Mirka, welcomed their second set of twins, Lenny and Leo, eight days ago.