INTERNAZIONALI BNL D'ITALIA
Chardy Saves 1 M.P. To Stun Federer
by ATP Staff|
"Beating Roger, for sure, is the best win ever," said Chardy. "For me, he's the best player, he's like a legend. Normally, you cannot have an idol when you play, but I really like the way he plays. So, for me, it's really good to win today.
"Today it was a difficult match. The conditions were really difficult, a lot of wind. I played a really bad first set, he played a really bad second set. After that, the third set was a good fight. I made an amazing shot on the match point and in the end I won. It was the perfect scenario to beat Roger."
The Frenchman notched his first Top 10 win of the season (1-6 mark) and the eighth of his career (8-28) as he edged Federer in two hours and seven minutes in testing conditions at the Foro Italico.
The fourth-seeded Federer had fought back from a 2-4 deficit in the final set to force a tie-break and held match point at 6-5 after Chardy double faulted. With Federer stranded in the mid-court, though, Chardy hit a winning forehand pass to level at 6-6 and converted his first match point as Federer hit a service return long.
See How Chardy Saved Match Point
The 32-year-old Federer was playing his first match since he and his wife, Mirka, welcomed their second set of twins, Lenny and Leo, eight days ago. He was bidding to win the elusive Rome crown for the first time, after three runner-up showings in 2003 (l. to Mantilla), 2006 (l. to Nadal) and 2013 (l. to Nadal). The loss marks Federer’s earliest defeat of the season; he has a 28-6 match record.
"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."
The 27-year-old Chardy improved to a 16-11 mark in 2014 after winning back-to-back tour-level matches for the first time since reaching the Buenos Aires quarter-finals in February (l. to Almagro). The Frenchman goes on to face Croatia’s Ivan Dodig, who dismissed Czech Lukas Rosol 6-1, 6-2 in 74 minutes.
German veteran Tommy Haas set a third-round clash with third seed Stanislas Wawrinka after beating Igor Sijsling 7-6(6), 6-1. Victory for Haas avenged the defeat he suffered to Sijsling in the Madrid first round last week. The 36-year-old right-hander will play Wawrinka for the first time in eight years, winning their one previous FedEx ATP Head2Head contest in 2006 on hard court in Doha.