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Happy 36th birthday, Roger Federer! – Photo by @ATPWorldTour via Twitter.


Happy birthday, Roger Federer!


The Swiss Maestro turned 36 on Tuesday, and it’s safe to say he has lots to celebrate. Federer has captured the 18th and 19th Grand Slam titles of his career this season, first at the Australian Open and then at Wimbledon. He is up to No. 3 in the rankings and is second in the race to the World Tour Finals behind French Open winner Rafael Nadal.


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


It has not often, however, been Roger’s Cup. In fact, Federer has never triumphed in Montreal. He was won this tournament twice, but both of those victories came in Toronto (2004 and 2006). The former world No. 1 missed this event the last two times it was played in Montreal, so this week marks his first appearance there since 2011.


“I remember the (Novak) Djokovic 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 played since lifting the Wimbledon trophy, so he will be well-rested heading into Wednesday’s date with Peter Polansky. The 116th-ranked Canadian got the best of compatriot and fellow wild card Vasek Pospisil on Monday night. Polansky spends most of his time on the Challenger circuit, so it is no surprise that he has never faced Federer.


Montreal’s No. 2 seed expects a packed house and another great atmosphere.


“The crowd is full most of the time and there are day and night sessions, which is nice,” Federer commented. “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.”


Ricky contributes to 10sballs.com and also maintains his own tennis website, The Grandstand. You can follow him on twitter at @Dimonator.