Behind the ‘raw’ photo of Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal that captures their enduring friendship, there are shades of the Italian-Swedish tennis rivals who battled on the same court, yet with contrasting styles.
The photograph is arguably the best image of the former world number one Federer ever taken, perhaps bestowing on Federer even more of the ‘glory’ that the world adores.
Federer and Rafael Nadal are the two greatest players to ever compete in the sport.
Image: Rafael Nadal is pictured on the winning side of his first world number one title, when he defeated Federer at the 2004 French Open
But, it is a relationship that has endured and strengthened over 10 years and is the talk of the town ahead of a blockbuster meeting between the two at the ATP Wimbledon Championships.
Federer has now won 12 major titles, including eight Wimbledon.
He was also victorious at the Australian and Australian Open before reaching his 10-year milestone by reaching the summit of the sport at last year’s Australian Open.
And at the French, he is set to hold the coveted Clasp.
Image: Roger Federer celebrates after defeating Kei Nishikori in the semi-finals
Federer’s journey to the pinnacle of tennis has been well documented but that should not distract from the fact that he has been a constant presence on the court in terms of support and encouragement.
Federer is always present in the stands at the tournament and always has huge respect for his idol and opponent Nadal.
His friendship with Nadal goes all the way back to their days together at the Italian Open and it is not hard to imagine his excitement whenever Nadal enters the court.
Image: Roger Federer smiles during his match against Tomas Berdych at the French Open
Federer said: “He is my idol. He is the one guy in the game who I always try to play at his best.
“That’s what we always do; we try to do the best we can. When he is there, then we are there also.”
Nadal was also very complimentary in his reply