Federer rules out end of season title flourish
BASEL, Switzerland - Roger Federer has played down rattling off wins in the season's closing three events as he did last year after reaching the second round of his home Swiss Indoors.
The five-time and top seed opened at the St Jakobshalle with a straight-sets win over German Benjamin Becker on Monday night and was Tuesday awaiting an opponent from Japan's Go Soeda and Brazilian Thomaz Bellucci.
The world number one concluded last season in a victory sprint, winning Basel, the Paris Masters and the year-end World Tour Finals in London on the trot.
But past results are no predictor of future success.
For one thing, the rest week between the end of Paris Bercy and the start of the eight-man season-wrap up has been eliminated as the ATP compressed the calendar to gain two weeks of off-season.
That means that Federer will make a late decision on his Paris participation after his Basel run is over.
"It all depends on how tough and how much you play, how the scheduling is, who are the opponents, and then maybe get a chance to get on a run," said the holder of 76 career titles who leads the ATP on six in 2012.
"It should not be my goal now to try and win all three again. The first goal is to see how I play here and take it from there.
"I have to think day by day. It's simple, it's pretty routine, but it's my only way to handle these next couple of crazy weeks."
Federer called London "the highlight of the end of the season and one of the biggest events we have in the sport."
Two qualifying places for a tournament which begins November 5 remain to be filled after Czech Tomas Berdych qualified on sixth.
While Federer had a practise day on Tuesday, childhood hometown friend Marco Chiudinelli earned an opening victory, defeating Spain's Guillermo Garcia Lopez 5-7, 6-3, 6-4.
It took four match points for the local to finally go through on an ace into the second round. He will bid for his fist quarter-final since July, 2010, with a match against third seed Richard Gasquet of France.
Swiss fourth seed Stanislas Wawrinka was hoping to put a third Swiss into the second round as he faced Russian Nikolay Davydenko.
Australian Bernard Tomic was badly beaten in the first round for a third straight tournament, with the Australian number one shunted out 6-0, 6-2 by sixth seed Mikhail Youzhny.
Tomic, who just turned 20, has not won a match since the second round in Bangkok one month ago after losing early in Tokyo and Shanghai.
The 48th-ranked Tomic lost serve five times in the rout and managed only one ace as the experienced Russian sixth seed took just 56 minutes to wrap up his ticket to the second round.
Matthew Ebden however saved the day for Aussie pride with his defeat of Romanian Victor Hanescu 6-3, 7-6 (7/3).
Ebden, ranked 115, never faced a break point against the lucky loser from qualifying as he won in just under 90 minutes.
American Brian Baker defeated Radek Stepanek 2-6, 7-6 (7/5), 6-3 after the Czech veteran had some through qualifying after failing to sign up for the tournament in time.
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