Sao Paulo, Dec 7 (IANS) World No.2 Roger Federer lost to Brazil's Thomaz Bellucci for the first time in his career, falling 5-7, 6-3, 4-6 in an entertaining exhibition match.
World No.33 Bellucci delighted his home fans, who provided a carnival atmosphere by chanting and singing throughout the duel Thursday, Xinhua reports.
After taking a tense first set by holding serve in the 12th game, Bellucci conceded the second set and went a break down early in the third.
But he responded by breaking back before holding serve in the 10th game to spoil Federer's hopes of winning his first match in Brazil.
"It's always great to play in front of a full house," Bellucci said after the match.
"It's a special feeling to play this guy (Federer) here. He is the best of all time and it was a pleasure to share the court with him."
Federer thanked fans for their support and praised the treatment he had received since arriving in Brazil.
"I am very happy to be here. It took me a while to finally come to Brazil," Federer said. "Everybody has been really good to me and I can't thank you all enough for showing your support."