Laid-back Federer preparing for U.S. Open in Toronto


Roger Federer is enjoying the good life.

At 33, he has 17 Grand Slam titles and a family of four children after his wife gave birth to twin boys in May. Now, as he plays in a U.S. Open warm-up at the Rogers Cup, he considers himself “more laid back” than at any time in his career.

“I see the positive side of things today,” Federer said. “When I was younger I felt much more pressure. I felt like I had to do what people said, and I would listen to everything. Today I kind of go my pace, and I really enjoy it in the process.”

Federer got off to a fine start in Toronto on Tuesday night, advancing to the third round with a 6-2, 6-0 victory against Canadian wildcard Peter Polansky. The second-seeded Swiss star is going for his third title of the year.

He still has “the determination to go out there and work hard and still have the motivation, which I think is something that’s really, really important,” said former star Stefan Edberg, now Federer’s coach. “It’s been good to see him making some progress this year.”

Federer does not feel the obligation to play as many tournaments as he once did. He is ranked No. 3 and taking a simpler approach to the game.

“I feel like I don’t really have to prove anything to anybody, even though people are always going to disagree with that,” Federer said. “For me it’s about how do I feel in practice, how is my motivation, how am I actually really playing, how do I feel it, rather than how is everybody else thinking they see and know it.

“I can analyze it much more clearer today than I ever have.”

Third-seeded Stanislas Wawrinka rallied for a 4-6, 6-3, 7-6 (7-2) victory over Benoit Paire. No. 11 seed Gulbis moved into the second round with a 6-3, 6-4 win against Joao Sousa of Portugal. Gasquet beat local favorite Vasek Pospisil 7-5, 7-5.

“He has an extra motivation because it’s being home,” Gasquet said of Popisil. “It’s the same when I’m playing in France. But yeah he had big expectations on him, especially here in Toronto.”

No. 16 seed Fabio Fognini and 17th-seeded Tommy Robredo also won. Fognini defeated Russia’s Mikhail Youzhny 6-4, 6-3, and Robredo held on for a 6-3, 7-6 (7-3) victory over Philipp Kohlschreiber.

Jack Sock of the United States defeated Jurgen Melzer of Austria 6-1, 6-3 in the first round, setting up a match with big-serving Canadian Milos Raonic. Raonic beat Sock in straight sets at Wimbledon and then again last week at the Citi Open in Washington.

“I’m definitely excited for tomorrow,” Sock said of facing Raonic. “The juices will be flowing. He got me in my home country last week, so I’m going to try to maybe get some revenge.”

Andreas Seppi defeated Canadian qualifier Brayden Schnur 6-3, 6-3 after a rain delay of more than two hours. Seppi next faces Ivan Dodig, who upset 10th-seeded John Isner on Monday night.

In another Canadian loss, Frank Dancevic fell 5-7, 6-0, 6-3 to Donald Young.

“He just started reading my serve in the second and third set,” Dancevic said. “I couldn’t get any more free points on my serve, my serve percentage dropped down a little bit and he just started playing better and better as the match went on.”