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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.''
Federer has seen plenty of changes in tennis since turning pro in 1998. Back then, he said, there was much more turnover between No. 1 players.
Since February 2004, the top spot has rotated among Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic. Federer hasn't been No. 1 since 2012, but he spent a record 302 weeks there.
Change also has come in the way rackets are made and strung.
''I think some tournament directors are probably sick and tired of just the big-serving matches where there's no rallies whatsoever, and it got very physical and athletic from the back of the court,'' he said. ''And, in