Today is Roger Federer’s birthday. He turned 36, won both majors he entered this year, and shows no signs of slowing. Here is an extremely charming compilation of birthday wishes from people he has regularly and/or recently owned.
- Leading off is Rafael Nadal, his chief rival, and practically the only other man who’s managed to win titles of note this season. So far this year, Nadal lost to Roger in the Australian Open final, in the Indian Wells round of 16, and in the Miami final, but still has the overall edge by a large margin.
- Next is Dominic Thiem, who has had the good fortune of avoiding Roger this year.
- Nick Kyrgios withdrew with food poisoning before a much-anticipated Indian Wells quarterfinal, then lost to Roger in the Miami semifinal, perhaps the year’s best match. He managed to mention Federer’s “beautiful wife.”
- Next is Grigor Dimitrov, the Federer clone and the only player who deployed sarcasm successfully. He lost to Roger in the round of 16 at Wimbledon.
- Lucas Pouille hasn’t played Roger in three years but wants to beat him soon; retirement might come first.
- Kei Nishikori offers a tender compliment and wishes him happy birthday in Japanese. Roger beat him in a five-set Australian Open fourth-round match.
- David Ferrer hasn’t faced Roger in three years but lost all 16 previous attempts.
- Sascha Zverev is having a breakout season but got smushed by Roger in the Halle final.
- Jo-Wilfried Tsonga is at a loss for what to wish him besides “to be happy.” All the other stuff already seems to be going smoothly for him.
On Wednesday Federer plays his first match since winning Wimbledon. He is 31-2 on the season.