(CNN) -- Top seed Roger Federer crashed out of the Paris Masters as a tearful Jean Benneteau produced a sublime performance to beat him 3-6 7-6 6-4.
The local man started slowly as Federer looked to wrap up a quick win, but Benneteau had three set points in the second set tiebreak, converting at the second attempt as the match began to turn in his favor.
And the world number 49 held his nerve to maintain his momentum in the third set and close out the match, breaking down with joy as he ousted the legendary Swiss.
Earlier, Marat Safin bade farewell to professional tennis with a 6-4 5-7 6-4 defeat by U.S. Open champion Juan Martin Del Potro.
The fiery Russian announced earlier this year he would be bringing to an end a 12-year career that has brought him two grand slam titles and the world number one ranking.
Wednesday's match saw flashes of Safin at his brilliant best, and he fought impressively to take the second set, but there were also too many mistakes as fifth seed Del Potro booked his place in round three.
The crowd were behind the wild card, who is a three-time champion in Paris, throughout the match and, after a hug from Del Potro across the net, a host of Safin's current and former rivals came out on court to pay tribute to the Muscovite.
Safin was presented with a souvenir trophy and then addressed the crowd, saying: "It's a very special moment. I'm happy to get through to the second round and play Del Potro, I hope he's going to do well here. He's confident now because of me so if he's going to win it he can send me some prize money!
"This is the day where all my memories will be in one box. I'm closing one door, hopefully another door will be opened."
Meanwhile, Andy Murray was pushed all the way before he defeated Amercian James Blake 6-3 6-7 (5-7) 7-6 (7-4).
The Scot won a cagey first set with a fine drop-shot before a very close second which Blake won on a tie-break.
There was never any sign of a break in the third either and it was no shock when it too went to a tie-break which Murray won 7-4 to set up a clash with Radek Stepanek in the third round.
In other matches, Rafael Nadal was forced to dig deep into his renowned powers of resilience to overcome Spanish compatriot Nicolas Almagro 3-6 7-6 7-5.
The world number two, who had won all four of his previous encounters with Almagro without dropping a set, has endured a torrid time with injuries in the last few months and was troubled by blisters to his feet in the duel, which lasted three hours 14 minutes.
Second seed Nadal saved a remarkable four match points and was a break down in the third set, but overcame Almagro, who himself required treatment in the closing stages, to progress.
Elsewhere, third seed Novak Djokovic saved two set points against Juan Monaco on his way to a 6-3 7-5 victory.
The Serb, who beat Federer in the final of the world number one's home-town event in Basle on Sunday, looked a little jaded and appeared in trouble at 2-5 in the second set.
But Monaco squandered two set points on his opponent's serve and five games in a row gave Djokovic victory.
Djokovic will now face French qualifier Arnaud Clement, a 5-7 6-3 7-6 winner over German 16th seed Tommy Haas, with Del Potro to play Chilean 10th seed Fernando Gonzalez after he beat American John Isner 7-5 7-6.
Swedish ninth seed Robin Soderling kept alive his hopes of snatching a place at the ATP World Tour Finals in London by defeating Croatia's Ivo Karlovic 6-4 7-6.
Soderling is one place outside the eight qualifying berths for the year-end event but needs to at least reach the final here to stand any chance of securing one of the last two available spots and will meet Russian Nikolay Davydenko, currently seventh in the race to London, in the next round.
The 2.75 million-euro event is the final Masters tournament of the year and boasts a line-up that features every top 15 player except the injured Andy Roddick.