TORONTO (AP) -- Since his last competitive match, Roger Federer has fought off aches and illness, fallen from No. 1 in the rankings and hired a coach.
Now his body feels better. Whether his game is improved will be seen starting Tuesday, when he begins play at the
Rogers Cup in the second round.
“Being ranked No. 3 in the world is something I haven’t been in a very long time,” Federer said Monday. “I’m doing all the right things. It’s, to me, just a matter of time. But guys are getting good and it’s inspiring for me also to get better.”
Federer has won 62 singles titles on the ATP World Tour, but only one this year.
He took the Australian Open in January—his 16th Grand Slam title—but was forced to withdraw from a tournament in
Dubai the following month with a lung infection. He has not played competitively since his quarterfinal loss to Tomas Berdych at Wimbledon in June.
He has spent several weeks working with Paul Annacone, whose former pupils include Pete Sampras and Marat Safin.
“I don’t think I was frustrated after my loss from Wimbledon,” Federer said. “I was disappointed that my body wasn’t holding up and that Berdych played such a good match and that I couldn’t defend my Wimbledon dream again.”
The third-seeded Federer will face Juan Ignacio Chela, who advanced with a 6-1, 6-3 victory over Alejandro Falla.
The top eight seeds were granted byes into the second round but the crowd had plenty to cheer about Monday when three Canadians pulled off a couple of upsets.
First, Peter Polansky beat No. 13 seed Jurgen Melzer 7-6, 6-4. Then the doubles team of Vasek Pospisil and Milos Raonic outlasted Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic—the No. 1- and No. 2-ranked players in the world, respectively—5-7, 6-3, 10-8 in their first-round doubles match.
“What I’m most proud of tonight is how I stayed focused in front of a big crowd at home,” Polansky said. “I just played my game throughout the match without too many nerves.”
Also, Sergiy Stakhovsky defeated Richard Gasquet 7-5, 6-1, Tommy Robredo topped Jarkko Nieminen 6-1, 6-4, Kevin Anderson beat Leonardo Mayer 7-6 (2), 6-4, Julian Benneteau ousted Denis Istomin 6-4, 6-4 and Victor Hanescu beat 19-year-old Raonic 6-4, 6-4.