Romance does not always collide elegantly with history and Rafael Nadal, who has rarely thrived on the southern reaches of the Thames, is unlikely again to come closer to winning the ATP Tour Finals trophy than he did on Friday.
When all around Nadal was chaos and all in front of him lay grand possibilities, the numbers did not fall his way. He is 33. He does not like playing indoors on hardcourt. But he has done pretty well.