12 Nov 2009

Unheralded home player ousts Roger Federer

6:59 pm on 12 November 2009

An unseeded 27-year-old Frenchman has put Roger Federer's world tennis number one ranking at risk, knocking the Swiss ace out in a surprise second-round defeat at the ATP's Paris Masters tournament.

Roared on by his home crowd, the world number 49 Julien Benneteau came back after dropping the first set to stun Federer 3-6 7-6 6-4, the top seed making uncharacteristic mistakes.

Second seed Rafael Nadal edged his compatriot Nicolas Almagro, also in three sets, and will now face another Spaniard, 14th seed Tommy Robredo.

Novak Djokovic, Andy Murray and Juan Martin Del Petro all joined Nadal in the third round while the veteran Russian star Marat Safin has officially retired after the former world number one was beaten in the second round by the current US Open champion Juan Martin del Potro.