MONTREAL: A rejuvenated Roger Federer believes he is still reaping the benefits of his extended break from tennis after a comfortable opening victory at the ATP Montreal Masters gave him his best start to a season since 2006.
Federer was joined in the last 16 by top seed and old adversary Rafael Nadal, who made similary short work of his opening assignment.
Federer is riding high after a spectacular year which has netted him both the Australian Open and Wimbledon crowns.
Federer attributed his renaissance to rediscovering full fitness after knee surgery in 2016 and taking a two-month break from the game earlier this year.
Federer took control immediately against Polansky, holding his opening service game comfortably before quickly going 0-40 up in the second game.
Federer then broke Polansky to take the first set, following a signature backhand with a deft forehand volley that left the 29-year-old Canadian scrambling.
Federer was soon in control in the second set, scoring an early break and holding twice to move 3-0 up before a further break made it 4-0.
Federer will face Spain’s David Ferrer in the third round. Ferrer upset 15th seed Jack Sock 7-6 (9/7), 3-6, 6-1.
There was almost another French Houdini act in the evening session, when Richard Gasquet fought back from triple match point down to earn three match points in the final set of his duel with Germany’s Alexander Zverev.
Fourth-seed Zverev however fought back brilliantly to claim victory in a tiebreak, winning 6-3, 4-6, 7-6 (7/3).
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