Federer turns 36, aims for first title in Montreal

Roger Federer turned 36 on Tuesday. That is generally an age when professional tennis players are either slowing down, retired, or coaching. Federer, on the other hand, has only been getting better.

His incredible 2017 campaign is highlighted by the 18th and 19th Grand Slam titles of his illustrious career, first at the Australian Open and most recently at Wimbledon. The Swiss is up to No. 3 in the world and heads into this week’s Montreal Masters second in the race to the ATP Finals behind French Open champion Rafael Nadal.

Federer’s peers took time to wish him a happy birthday in Montreal:

His first match as a 36-year-old will come on Wednesday afteroon at the Rogers Cup.

It has not often, though, been Roger’s cup. In fact, Federer has never before triumphed in Montreal. He was won this event twice, but each of those successes came in Toronto (2004 and 2006). Federer–who finished runner-up to Novak Djokovic in 2007–missed this tournament the last two times it was played in Montreal so this week marks his first appearance there since 2011.

“I remember theDjokovic match in the 2007 final and maybe a match against (Gaston) Gaudio where I saved match point,” Federer said of his Montreal memories. “It feels a little like a blur to be honest. But my most important one was in 2009, when my girls were two weeks old. It was our first trip as a family. They just got their passports and traveled here. I remember we had an unbelievable time and I was trying to be a dad for the first time. It was all out of control in the nicest possible way. It was here in Montreal, so it will always be special for me here.

“This year, I’m here without the family so it’s a bit different and bit more quiet. I’ll plan on resting and sleeping while I can.”

Federer has not taken the court since winning Wimbledon, so he will be well-rested heading into Wednesday’s matchup against Peter Polansky. The 29-year-old Canadian defeated countryman and fellow wild card Vasek Pospisil on Monday night. Polansky spends most of his time at the Challenger level, so it is no real surprise that he has never gone head-to-head with Federer.

The former world No. 1 expects a packed house and a great atmosphere.

“The crowd is full most of the time and there are day and night sessions, which is nice,” Federer noted. “There’s a great energy in the town and they can sense that tennis is back. They only have this one big tournament during the year and fans make the most of it. I hope we can make it a great experience for fans who show up and pay good money for the tickets.”

7 Comments on Federer turns 36, aims for first title in Montreal

  1. Roger definitely looked his age today. In fact, I thought he looked a bit seedy; since when does he play unshaven? However, all credit to David Ferrer; I thought he played a great match. Even though Federer was clearly not his best in the first set, Ferrer was a big part of that. He hit with pace, depth, and angle. I thought he was supposed to be washed up!

    Anyway, Roger will have to lift his game to keep advancing, that’s for sure. Hopefully (for some of us) it was just a bad day at the office. He still managed to win that last set going away, so that’s a good sign.

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