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.

Roger Federer: You can't always win
Roger Federer: You can't always win


    Roger Federer: You can't always win


Roger Federer: You can't always win 01:31
Tennis champ on 'failing better'
Tennis champ on 'failing better'


    Tennis champ on 'failing better'


Tennis champ on 'failing better' 02:26
Venus Williams fights incurable disease
Venus Williams fights incurable disease


    Venus Williams fights incurable disease


Venus Williams fights incurable disease 06:07

"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


    • Rafael Nadal of Spain watches the ball in his match against Martin Klizan of Slovakia during during day seven of the China Open at the National Tennis Center on October 3, 2014 in Beijing, China.

      What does 2015 hold for Rafa?

      Rafael Nadal's body might be giving him a few problems, but his mind remains as strong as ever. Will the Spaniard add to his haul of 14 grand slam titles?
    • LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 17: Wimbledon champion Andy Murray and his long time girlfriend Kim Sears arrive at Buckingham Palace on October 17, in London, England. Murray will become an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) and receive his medal from the Duke of Cambridge. (Photo by John Stillwell - WPA Pool/Getty Images)

      Love game: Andy Murray to tie knot

      The Scot has served up a few changes to his support team in 2014 but there's one person who isn't going anywhere -- his new fiancée Kim Sears.
    • Despite being forced to retire at the age of 24 due to health problems, Lacoste remained in the game and went on start the "Lacoste" brand in 1933, which specialised in tennis products. The inspiration for the company's logo came from his nickname as a player, "le crocodile."

      'Crocodile' who broke all the rules

      His distinctive crocodile logo is seen on clothing all over the world, but Rene Lacoste also left a lasting legacy in the development of tennis.
    • Serena Williams of the US holds the US Open trophy after defeating Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark during their US Open 2014 women's singles finals match at the USTA Billie Jean King National Center September 7, 2014 in New York. AFP PHOTO/Stan HONDA (Photo credit should read STAN HONDA/AFP/Getty Images)

      Serena savors U.S. Open win

      Serena Williams is without peer in the modern women's game and now she is on a par with two American tennis legends from the past.
    • American tennis player and golfer Althea Gibson (right) receives a kiss from compatriot Darlene Hard, whom she beat in two sets to become the first black woman to win the Women's Singles Finals at Wimbledon.

      The amazing life of Althea Gibson

      Over the course of her remarkable life, Althea Gibson was many things to many people -- but it was tennis where she really left her mark.
    • Courting couple at match point

      "I didn't cry once when I practiced in front of the mirror," says Martin Emmrich. But the nerves kicked in when he got down on one knee on court.
    • LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - JULY 03: Tennis / Frauen: Wimbledon 2004, London; Finale; Siegerin Maria SHARAPOVA / RUS 03.07.04. (Photo by Bongarts/Bongarts/Getty Images)

      'Baby' Sharapova's big moment

      It's 10 years since a teenage Maria Sharapova became the darling of Wimbledon's hallowed Center Court, launching herself as a star.
    • 'Swiss Miss' follows mom's lead

      Five-time grand slam champion Martina Hingis has followed her mom into a coaching role, setting up a new tennis academy in Barcelona, Spain.