Federer holds off chardy in Paris

Roger Federer withstood a tough test from home favourite Jeremy Chardy to advance 7-6(5), 6-7(5), 6-4 to the BNP Paribas Masters third round on Wednesday.

The 33 year old extended his winning streak to 13 matches, a run that includes picking up his sixth Basel title last week (d. Goffin) and his 23rd ATP World Tour Masters 1000 crown in Shanghai (d. Simon) last month.

Federer, the 2011 Paris champion, is on Novak Djokovic's heels in the battle for year-end No. 1, trailing the Serb by just 490 points in the ATP Race To London. Federer is trying to finish the season as No. 1 for the sixth time, which would equal Pete Sampras’ record.​

The 33-year-old Federer dropped his opening service game and eventually found himself serving down 2-5 against the 27-year-old Chardy. The Swiss erased four of Chardy’s set points as the Frenchman served for the set at 4-5, and consolidated the break to even the set at 5-5. Federer would go on to win his 11th straight tie-break - his previous loss was to Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the Rogers Cup final - after Chardy dumped a forehand into the net.

In the second set, both players held serve - Chardy erased both break points he faced - before heading into another tie-break. This time, the Frenchman had the upper hand, pushing their third ATP Head2Head encounter into a decider after smacking an inside-out forehand out of Federer's reach.

Federer grabbed the break early in the third, and stayed on track to close out the victory in two hours and 31 minutes. Federer next plays qualifier Lucas Pouille, who upset 16th seed Fabio Fognini 7-6(5), 7-6(7) in their second-round clash.

"I was expecting it to be difficult. Chardy has made it hard for me in the past," said Federer.

"It was a very, very difficult match. I had two match points in the second set and was a bit worried but I tried to keep coming forward and I'm very, very satisfied.

"He's got a great forehand and a great serve but I played well and I'm very happy, albeit a bit tired." added Federer.

Date: 29th October 2014, Source: ATP and AFP


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