Roger Federer, a 19-time Grand Slam champion, found time in his busy schedule to accompany his wife Mirka to watch their close friend Marco Chiudinelli play his final match in Basel.
Federer is at the Swiss Indoors this week in a bid to close the gap to Rafael Nadal in the ATP Men’s Rankings.
Chiudinelli and Federer both played squash, table tennis, and football together as children before they both became tennis professionals.
As Federer raced to 19 Grand Slams and worldwide acclaim, Chiudinelli has had a contrastingly more modest career.
Chiudinelli has won 10 ATP Challenger singles titles, the last of which he claimed in Wroclaw, Poland last year, but he has never won a main tour tournament.
Chiudinelli’s highest ranking of 52nd came in February 2010, a year in which the Swiss made record bids at three of the four Grand Slams, qualifying for his only Wimbledon and making the second round in Australia, France, and USA.
His best efforts were in the US Open, in third round defeats at the 2006 and 2009 tournaments, losing to Richard Gasquet and Nikolay Davydenko respectively.
The highlight of his 17-year career was being part of a Davis Cup-winning side in 2014 that also included Roger Federer.
It was an emotional night for Marco Chiudinelli, as he suffered a first round defeat to Robin Haase.
The crowd stood to applaud the hometown professional off the court, with the Federer's also emotional at the occasion.
Federer recorded his parents hugging Chiudinelli at the climax of his final match as his wife Mirka did the same.
Federer then embraced his long-time friend before Chiudinelli bid an emotional goodbye to his supporters in Basel.
Federer’s attentions now turn to Rafael Nadal.
Victory at the tournament will take Federer to within 1,460 points of his Spanish rival ahead of the ATP World Tour Finals.
Federer has to go through other top seeds such as Marin Cilic, David Goffin, and Juan Martin del Potro to win his eighth Swiss Indoors title.