- Rome Masters
Federer out of Rome Masters
Roger Federer's return to tennis after the birth of his twin sons ended in disappointment as he was knocked out of second round at the Rome Masters by Jeremy Chardy.
Federer, who withdrew from the Madrid Open earlier this month after his wife gave birth to twins Leo and Lenny, initially looked dangerous as he cruised through the first set in just 30 minutes. But a resurgent Chardy won a final set tiebreaker to progress to the third round 1-6 6-3 7-6(6).
Fourth seed Federer, who received a bye in the first round, opened strongly against world No.47 Chardy, making the Frenchman work hard on what was also a hot afternoon in Rome. But with the swirling wind wreaking havoc with the bounce of the ball, Chardy fought back with some heavy forehand blows to clinch the match in the narrowest of fashions.
Earlier in the afternoon, Andy Murray advanced to the last 16 with a more straightforward 6-2 7-5 win over world No.31 Marcel Granollers to set up a third round clash with Jurgen Melzer.
With both players at times struggling to cope with the challenging conditions, Murray took the first set 6-2 in just 35 minutes, confidently forcing his opponent around the court. The Scot showed little sign of the back problems that have plagued him since late 2013, breaking Granollers twice and surviving some hard sprints to play neat drop shots which had his opponent repeatedly wrong-footed.
The second set was more problematic for Murray, who was broken in his opening service game by a determined Granollers. But the world No.8 recovered from the early setback to break Granollers in the final game to take the set 7-5.
"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 needed three sets to overcome second round opponent Marin Cilic, dispatching the world No.26 6-2 6-7 (7-5) 6-3.
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga won two tiebreakers to defeat South African Kevin Anderson 7-6(14) 7-6(5). The 11th seed saved nine set points in the first set tiebreaker and goes on to meet Milos Raonic in the third round.