Despite trailing in the second set 1-4 Federer staged a comeback but it was not enough to stop the Frenchman walking away with a 6-3, 7-5 win.
One of Federer’s most underrated weapons is his serve which can be lethally accurate and consistently damaging. Federer’s serve refused to help him against Benneteau as he was broken three times in the first set – almost unheard of unless against Nadal and even more unusual on an indoor hard court.
As he tried to force a third set Federer’s serve failed him again – a double fault giving Julien match point.
The match was Federer’s 200th career loss and Julien’s 200th career win.
Benneteau was understandably delighted with the win. Federer… could have sounded more humble.
“I don’t want to leave, I want to play. I feel bad for the fans who don’t get to see me now. Hopefully this wasn’t my last time here.” – Roger Federer
“This was a dream match, and I played like a dream. This is for sure my biggest win. He was the favourite, but maybe he played a bit tight. I’ve been playing well all week, improving with each match.
I’ve had a great week here so far and I hope it’s not finished.” – Julien Benneteau
“Today, I knew I could do it because I had already done it in Bercy. I had to do a lot of good things. I prepared myself to play my game, not to try to play better than I can, but to be aggressive when I could. I needed to show physically and mentally I was here and that I wanted it.” Julien Benneteau
“If you lose your serve five times, like I did today, you can’t win indoors.
Julien played great, created more chances than I did and fully deserved to win. I fought back at the end of the second set and had chances to take it into a third but that would have been more luck than I deserved.” – Roger Federer