Roger Federer is back in Montreal for the first time since 2011, after a terrific start of the season and a month after winning his eighth Wimbledon crown.

This Sunday, the Swiss met with the press for the first time. Freshly back from deserved vacations, he is more than ready to start over and get some matches under his belt… and perhaps winning in Montreal for the first time.

Since his last visit to the French metropolis of Canada goes back six years, BATennis World asked him what memories he has from the tournament and the city.

Here is what he had to say:

“Funny enough, before 2010, I don’t remember so much. It feels like a long time away.

“I remember the Djokovic match, in the finals. I remember that it was close, great atmosphere. I remember a couple other matches. I wonder if it was Gaudio where I saved a match point [NDLR: It was and it was in 2003.], I don’t remember.

“But it feels a little bit of a blur.

“The most important one was when I came in 2009. My girls were two weeks old. It was our first trip, just got the passport and traveled here. I remember that we had an unbelievable time. I was trying to be a dad for the first time. It was just all out of control, but in the nicest possible way, and it was here in Montreal.

“So forever Montreal will be special to me because it was the first tournament back after being a dad for the first time.

“This year, I’m here without the family, so it’s obviously a bit different, it’s a bit more quiet. And I’ll really put much focus on playing and resting and sleeping while I can, before I see them all again next week.”

– Roger Federer

The moment the former number one started talking about his children, his face took a whole new appearance. Rather than his “happy to be here” and at times serious expression, his features took an incredible tenderness. His smile became that of a doting parent, showing once more all the love he bears for his family.

For Federer, Montreal has a centre court with a soul

Following our question, and while he was reminiscing good things from the past, Federer was asked whether he still thought, like he said some time ago, that the Montreal centre court is his favourite outside of Wimbledon’s.

“Yes, what I see here is like I see a soul in the tournament”, he said with great fondness. “I see a soul inside a court. I see the stadium has been around for a while. I like that. I feel like it is not totally symmetrical. In a way, it makes it unique as well, because all the courts are either a box or they’re a circle. They’re all the same, and I feel this one is not. And I like that. I think the crowds are always good. It’s pretty full all the time. They have day and night sessions, too, which is obviously nice. You can sense great energy herein the town, in Montreal, that they are very excited that the tennis is back. They have this one tournament a year, and I feel like the fans are making the most of it. I feel it’s a great centre court, and that’s why I hope to stick around for a bit. It’s not just a one-off match here.”

There is no doubt that the fans are hoping the very same.

(Photo: BATennis World)