New dad Roger Federer loses first match back in Rome after birth of boys

It's goodbye for Roger Federer as he loses in the second round of the Rome Masters to Jeremy Chardy.

Story highlights

  • Roger Federer loses first match back since birth of twin boys last week
  • The Swiss father of four is beaten by Frenchman Jeremy Chardy in the Rome Masters
  • There are wins on the Rome clay for Andy Murray and Tommy Haas
  • American Venus Williams loses second round match to halt comeback from illness

Roger Federer added fuel to the paternity leave debate as he crashed out of the Rome Masters just eight days after welcoming twin boys to his clan.

Federer will be back on nappy changing duties sooner than he may have expected after losing 6-1 3-6 7-6(6) to Frenchman Jeremy Chardy Wednesday.

The French world No. 47 saved a match point to record his first ever victory over the Swiss 17-time grand slam champion.

"I think we both struggled to win today and at the end a shot here or there may have decided the match," Federer told reporters in Rome. "But credit to him for fighting his way back into the match."

It was the 32-year-old father of four's first match back since the birth of Lenny and Leo -- brothers to twin girls Charlene Riva and Myla Rose.

Federer had explained that wife Mirka, along with his coaching team, had encouraged him to make a quick return to work on the tennis tour on the eve of the Rome tournament.

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"They told me to come here and play," Federer told reporters at Foro Italico. "So I said 'OK, if you don't want me around, I'll go away! I miss them a lot already.'"

The world No. 4, however, revealed plans that will dodge any future problems over time away from his twin boys.

"The plan is that they can come on tour," he added. "At least we know how to handle kids on the road.

"I am aware it's going to be a lot of work but at the same time it's something I'm really looking forward to."

The Rome Masters is the final major warm-up event for the second grand slam of the year, the French Open.

Looking ahead to the clay-court slam, which begins on 25th May, Federer commented: "I did have my family but everything is under control. And I still feel good, body and mind."

There were victories on the Rome clay Wednesday for Britain's Wimbledon champion Andy Murray, Germany's Tommy Haas and Russian Mikhail Youzhny.

Spanish eight-time French Open champion Rafael Nadal opened his Rome title defense with a tough 7-6 6-7 6-2 victory over Giles Simon of France.

In the women's draw, Venus Williams had her comeback from illness curtailed by Spain's Carla Suarez Navarro.

After a sizzling first-round win Tuesday, the 33-year-old American was beaten 6-4 6-2.

The seven-time grand slam winner now has to manage her tennis career after the effects of Sjogren's syndrome, a debilitating autoimmune disease.

There were comfortable wins for world No.1 Serena Williams, Poland's Agnieszka Radwanska, Australia's Sam Stosur and Italians Francesca Schiavone and Sara Errani.

Read: Why do we have so much beef with paternity leave?

Read: The champion trying to slam Sjogren's syndrome

Read: Twins again for Roger Federer

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