Roger Federer continues his dominance over his great rival Rafael Nadal in 2017 to secure his 27th Masters 1000 title at the Shanghai Masters.
The 19-time Grand Slam champion won 6-4 6-3 in an hour and 12 minutes to secure his fifth consecutive win, fourth in 2017, over the Spaniard, who aspired to extend his winning streak of 16 games.
Roger Federer, the only player who can prevent Nadal from finishing the year as number one in the world, secured his sixth title of the year to close the gap with Nadal at the top of the standings as the season draws to a close.
The pair renewed their rivalry for the 38th time and, although Nadal led the set head to head 23-14, the Spaniard entered the match after losing to Federer on three different occasions this season: at the Australian Open, Indian Wells and Miami
Roger Federer enjoyed the quick start of the game, played indoors due to the Shanghai rains, against Nadal fit, who won the China Open last week, getting an early break in the opening service game to take the lead in the meeting.
Nadal, who has not won the Shanghai Masters before, struggled to gain absolute mastery over Federer’s service and failed to open a break point opportunity during the match.
Roger Federer, who only suffered four defeats this year, sealed the opening set with his fifth ace of the set before underscoring his dominance in the match by breaking Nadal’s serve in the fifth game of the second set, which included a surprising low volley winner.
The great Swiss brought a 5-3 lead in the second set and closed the game with a third break from the game when Nadal pushed a right-hander into the net to see Roger Federer claim a second Shanghai Masters title.
“I played a great game today with almost no mistakes,” Roger Federer told Sky Sports. “It was very clear to me how I had to play and I could do it during the hour and 12 minutes I was there.
“I started perfectly and I maintained the pressure before creating more opportunities in the return, I kept on the offensive and then I stepped back in the right moment to make sure that Rafa could make some mistakes on his own and that is exactly what happened.”
Roger Federer, who survived a tough test of his credentials in the semi-finals beating Juan Martin del Potro in three sets, still has to make a final decision on whether he will play against his local supporters in Basel next week but was clear about his ambitions to win the World Tour Finals that end the season in London next month.
He added: “I am really surprised to have won here, with everything that has happened from Montreal with my back, it is nice to see that I am back again.
“London is my priority now and I really want to win the World Tour Finals. I’m really excited to have had the year I’ve had and everything coming from here is a plus.
“To finish the year as the number one in the world is very remote, and I do not think it will happen, but if I play like that, who knows? Maybe I’ll get close again.”
Meanwhile, Nadal stayed to reflect on a first loss since reaching the No. 1 ranking in August but has enjoyed a strong cut on the Asian track despite taking a break immediately after his victory at the Open United States in Flushing Meadows.
“It was a very difficult game for me,” said Nadal. “He played very fast and he played well.I do not know how many unforced errors he did.I could have done some better things, but that’s all. It just played very well.That’s my point.Well, I congratulate Roger Federer.
“I played a fantastic tournament, with very good victories, very happy because of the way I played the whole Asian tour for me, Beijing and Shanghai have been very positive for two weeks, many points, many victories against great opponents. personal satisfaction of the way I played. “