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Federer suffers upset loss in windswept Rome

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A disappointed Federer leaves the court after defeat. Photo: Tiziana Fabi/AFP
21:33 CEST+02:00
Frenchman Jérémy Chardy caught new father Roger Federer on the hop at a wind-blown Rome Masters tennis tournament on Wednesday, winning the second round match 1-6, 6-3, 7-6 (8-6).

The upset loss, in just over two hours, came less than two weeks after the 32-year-old Swiss player became father to his second set of twins.

The fourth-seeded Basel native, who has never won the Rome title, decided to come and have a go on the clay of the Foro Italico anyway after consulting with wife Mirka and his team.

With him in Rome was part-time coaching consultant Stefan Edberg.

Conditions were brutal for a match played amid great bursts of red clay blowing regularly through the air.

Federer swept the opening set but began to fade in the second as a charged-up Chardy, ranked 47th in the world, made his move.

The Swiss 17-time Grand Slam player, who skipped last week's Madrid Masters to take paternity leave, said on Tuesday that while he hoped to win the match against Chardy “at the moment I really have other priorities”.

At a post-game press conference Federer admitted to feeling angry and disappointed.

"But then I was like: 'OK, let's just do the press conference and go home; let's not waste too much more time,' he said.

"I'm happy," Federer said.

"I'm playing well, so I always see things quite positive – but surely it wasn't fun leaving the court  . . ."

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In other play, Andy Murray took revenge for a loss a year ago as he defeated Marcel Granollers to open with a 6-2, 7-5 victory into the third round.

The Spaniard had benefitted in 2013 when the Scot had to quit their second-round contest with the back pains which eventually drove him to surgery last autumn.

The match was also played in swirling dustbowl conditions which bothered both players throughout.

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