It was after midnight in London when the final point of Roger Federer’s career was played. That it meant his final match ended in a heartbreaking defeat, on a deciding tiebreak, did not seem to matter.
Federer was in tears shortly afterwards, not due to the result, but because of the people he could share the moment with. Rafael Nadal was soon crying beside him.
By the end, there was barely anyone who wasn’t.For so many years, Federer had faced Nadal in the heat of battle, the intensity of their rivalry taking the sport to new heights.
As he went out, he did so with Nadal beside him in an iconic final partnership. Nadal had warned that the departure of the most important figure in tennis history would be a difficult moment and as the lump in Federer’s throat blocked his words late into the night at the O2 Arena, so it proved.Federer wanted to put on a show in the final match of his career and provided it with the sight of two of the sport’s great rivals together on the same side of the net.Read more on independent.co.uk