End of an era for Emms and Robertson
IT was a sad end to an era for Nottingham's Nathan Robertson as he and the mixed doubles partner he can't replace, Gail Emms, lost their Olympic quarter final and with it went their dreams of a Beijing medal.
Robertson and Emms, who will now hang up her racket for the very last time, were hoping to repeat their heroics of the Athens Games, where they won silver that they very nearly turned into gold.
This was a chance for the 2006 world champions to enjoy a final fling before going their separate ways but Korean's Lee Hyo Jung and Lee Youg Dae put paid to that, leading throughout a 21-19, 21-12 victory that left Emms in tears and Robertson uncertain about his future.
The 31-year-old said: "I don't know what I'm going to do now; I wanted to see what happened here before deciding on the future.
"I'm proud that we got ourselves to this tournament because we're not spring chickens anymore.
"After the first round victory, I really thought we could go on and get gold and I could retire, maybe that took a lot out of us emotionally.
"I'll need six to eight weeks now to sit down and think things through - it's going to be very difficult because Gail has pretty much been my partner since we were in our teens.
"It will be very difficult to replace her if at all - she's a fantastic person and a great ambassador for the sport and GB sport in general.
"We didn't quite reach the pinnacle in the Olympics but we've done everything else we wanted to achieve - it's been an amazing rollercoaster ride together."
Robertson said, however, that the defeat was not the last people would see of him and Emms.
"It would be great to be involved in London 2012 in some way," he added.
"On the court would be the best possible option and it hasn't ended for Gail and I either, we're going to be the best of friends for the rest of our lives.
"It's a partnership for life, I'm sure she'll miss me but I don't think there's any chance of reviving things on the court."
Milton Keynes-based Emms, also 31, admitted that it was not without regrets as she and Robertson brought the curtain down on their partnership.
She said tearfully: "I'm alright, actually I'm not alright.
"After all these wonderful years I didn't want to go out like this. But we needed to play at our absolute best and they didn't allow us.
"I really thought we could do it but their serve was awesome and we couldn't get on top of it.
"It's so hard, I'm going to miss the Olympics - the Games to me are the ultimate, there's always something so special about them.
"My family and boyfriend are here supporting us and it's a shame that we can't go on but looking back I'm so proud of what we've achieved - I'm just very emotionally."