|Roger Federer (QMI Agency photo)
MONTREAL - Roger Federer will once again celebrate his birthday on Canadian soil. The world tennis number three turns 30 on Monday - but don't talk about it too much. The Swiss-born tennis star is not particularly fond of big parties.
"(My birthday) is a time I like to spend with friends and family," Federer told reporters in Montreal on the eve of his 3oth and of the first round of play at the Rogers Cup.
Federer didn't like exuberant parties even when he was younger.
"At least the attention I get in tennis helps me deal with (birthdays)," he said.
And he certainly gets attention. Federer's professional trajectory over the last 10 years has been phenomenal.
"I've accomplished an enormous amount since I was 20," he said. "At that age, I was trying to win my first title. I had no idea how my career would turn out."
Federer accumulated 67 singles titles over the last decade, including 16 Grand Slams. He spent 285 weeks as world number one - 14 days short of the record held by tennis great Pete Sampras, who was at the top of the tennis world for 286 weeks.
Federer said he doesn't think he'll break the record.
"Becoming number one is something that is very difficult," he said.
"You have to accomplish something that is very special to achieve. You have to be constantly at your best."
Federer remembers a particularly tough semi-finals match in Montreal in 2003 against Andy Roddick. A win would have given him world number one status for the first time in his career. He lost the game.
"I was really nervous," he remembered. "I don't know if I collapsed, but I had to wait five or six months to finally become number one."
That period in his career is long over, and even though Federer is getting older, he said it doesn't scare him.
"There are few players who have won a title in their 30s, but what reassures me is that enough have," he said. "(By 30), a lot of tennis players retire (but) I've always looked at my career as long-term.
I've never had serious injuries so I know I still have chances to win."
Although 30 years young, and despite an extraordinary career, Federer still has things to accomplish - such as winning his first title in Montreal.