Federer stunned by Chardy in windy Rome but Murray advances
Originally published on 14/05/14
The world No.4 made a late decision to participate in the tournament after wife Mirka gave birth to a second set of twins last week.
And he will now have the chance to spend more time with his family after losing a dramatic second-round clash in two hours and seven minutes to Chardy, who saved a match point in the deciding tie-break.
"I think we both struggled to win today and in the end a shot here or there decided the match," said Federer. "He gave me a double fault to give me match point. I missed my first serve, which was crucial, but credit to him to give it a go. A passing shot is a tough one for me to take. Credit to him for fighting his way back into the match."
Three-time finalist Federer looked in decent touch in the early stages as he wrapped up the opening set in 30 minutes in blustery conditions at the Foro Italico.
But Chardy upped his game and after breaking in the fourth game of the second set he closed it out to force a decider.
The Frenchman took control of the third set as he moved 4-2 ahead but he couldn't convert a break point for 5-2 and Federer fought back to take it to a tie-break.
Chardy took the early initiative as he opened up a 4-2 advantage, only for Federer to battle back and earn match point after a double fault from the Frenchman.
Chardy, though, saved it with a brilliant forehand passing shot and then won the next two points to seal a memorable victory.
Up next for the world No.47 in the third round is Ivan Dodig, who beat Lukas Rosol 6-1 6-2.
Meanwhile, Andy Murray battled through tricky conditions to beat Marcel Granollers 6-2 7-5.
The pair met at the same stage in Rome last year when Murray was forced to retire with a back injury.
But despite a swirling wind blowing dust from the clay into the players’ eyes, Murray put in a solid display to book his place in the last 16 against Jurgen Melzer.
"In those conditions you need to think your way through the match and be patient with yourself," said Murray. "It was very windy, also the sun was coming round so that was in your eyes and so was the dust from the court. From one of the ends it was very tough to get any real depth on the ball and when I had the wind with me, I gave the ball extra spin to control it."
Melzer beat Marin Cilic 6-2 6-7(5) 6-3 while Tommy Haas set up a third-round clash with Stanislas Wawrinka after seeing off Ivan Sijsling 7-6(6) 6-1.