Roger Federer launched his North American hard court campaign and bid for an 80th career title in impressive style blowing past Canadian Peter Polansky 6-2, 6-0 on Tuesday and into the third round of the Rogers Cup.
Seeing his first action since an epic five set loss to world number one Novak Djokovic in the Wimbledon final, Federer lacked sharpness at times but still barely worked up a good sweat on a balmy summer evening needing just 52 minutes to dispose of the Canadian wild card.
“I was happy, I started well and that’s always helpful to play more freely,” said Federer, a two-time winner this season. “I think I could have served better at times but other than that, already in practice I felt I was moving well.
“Didn’t feel so good hitting the ball yet. Wasn’t quite getting used to the surface and now the last few days have been much better and I’m happy that in the match it kind of all worked really well. “For the start of a tournament it’s never clear if that’s going to be the case. I’m very relieved and just really pleased.”
Federer, who will celebrate his 33rd birthday on Friday, has reached the final four times winning the title twice, and a Canadian hat-trick would give the second seeded Swiss a milestone 80th career title.
The 17-time grand slam winner sits third on the all-time title list behind only Ivan Lendl (94) and Jimmy Connors (109). Third seed Stan Wawrinka made it a perfect evening for the Swiss as he rallied for a 4-6, 6-3, 7-6 (2) win over determined French qualifier Benoit Paire.
BOUCHARD KNOCKED OUT
MONTREAL: The Rogers Cup lost power both figuratively and literally Tuesday with hometown favourite Eugenie Bouchard suffering a second round defeat to American qualifier Shelby Rogers.
The 20-year-old, playing for the first time since losing in the Wimbledon final to Petra Kvitova last month, faltered in front of her native Montreal crowd. Her 6-0 2-6 6-0 loss came after the event suffered a seven-hour power outage that shut down scoreboards and umpires’ microphones. “I was feeling the pressure on the court and I was feeling kind of match rusty,” Bouchard told reporters. “But I knew this coming into the match, so I can’t use that as excuses. I knew it would be kind of a difficult situation.”