Roger Federer's Canadian birthday, through the years

Stephanie Myles
August 9, 2014
A beauty of a birthday cake for the not-quite-No. 1 in Montreal in 2003.
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A beauty of a birthday cake for the not-quite-No. 1 in Montreal in 2003.

Rafael Nadal gets the French Open. Ivan Ljubicic used to get Indian Wells.

But if it's Roger Federer's birthday, this must be Canada.

The above photo was in Montreal in 2003 when a 22-year-old Federer, still with the rebel ponytail, was on the cusp of becoming No. 1 for the first time.

He could have done it there if he had beaten Andy Roddick in the semi-finals that year, but it would be for another day.

And here was Federer after a tough win over David Ferrer Friday night in Toronto, as he celebrated No. 33.

Roger Federer has a late-night birthday snack after his quarter-final win over David Ferrer in Toronto. (AFP Photo/Ronald Martinez)
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Roger Federer has a late-night birthday snack after his quarter-final win over David Ferrer in Toronto. (AFP Photo/Ronald Martinez)

It was reportedly made with Lindt chocolate (one of Federer's sponsors, also a tournament sponsor). Nothing is left to chance any more, which is probably one of the biggest differences between pony-tailed Fed and businessman, 30-something Fed.

Through the years, they let him eat cake. A lot of cake.

Here he is celebrating his 25th in Toronto in 2006. 

Federer gets a birthday cake in Toronto in 2006
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Federer gets a birthday cake in Toronto in 2006

 Next, he turns 26, also in Toronto.

 

A kid gives Federer a birthday cake in Montreal in 2007.
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A kid gives Federer a birthday cake in Montreal in 2007.

 Federer turned 29 in Toronto in 2010.

Federer gets a cake and a photo op with hockey star Sidney Crosby in Toronto in 2010
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Federer gets a cake and a photo op with hockey star Sidney Crosby in Toronto in 2010

A special guest this time: the cake for Federer's 29th was presented by none other than hockey superstar Sidney Crosby.

There was video, too.

Today in Toronto, Federer turns 33. The ponytail is long gone. There are little Federers galore. But he's still bringing it.

Federer chooses his favourite fan greeting after midnight, after dispatching Marin Cilic at the Rogers Cup in Toronto Aug. 7.
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Federer chooses his favourite fan greeting after midnight, after dispatching Marin Cilic at the Rogers Cup in Toronto Aug. 7.

The ATP turned this into a social media opportunity, inviting fans to send in greetings and artwork and that sort of thing with the hashtag #Roger33. They poured in.

Friday night, the sellout crowd in Toronto spontaneously sang Happy Birthday to him at the 1-0 changeover at the beginning of the second set. No problem: a smile, a few waves to the crowd, a wave of apology to opponent David Ferrer for holding things up, and carry on.

He's 3-0 in Canada when he plays on his actual birthday, going into Friday night.

How many more will Federer have in Canada? We shall see.

He celebrated it in Beijing in 2008 at the Olympics, and it's likely he will do the same in 2016 in Rio (which sort of beats out Toronto - no offense to Toronto).