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Federer beats great rival Nadal to win Shanghai Masters

  • Peter Stebbings

    Agence France-Presse

Shanghai, China | Sun, October 15, 2017 | 06:48 pm
 Federer beats great rival Nadal to win Shanghai Masters Roger Federer of Switzerland reacts against Philipp Kohlschreiber of Germany during their men's singles fourth round match on Day Eight of the 2017 US Open at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center on September 4, 2017 in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City. (AFP/Getty Images/Abbie Parr)

Roger Federer got one over his old rival Rafael Nadal to win the Shanghai Masters 6-4, 6-3 on Sunday in a showdown between the two best players on the planet.

It was a 94th title for the Swiss legend, drawing him level with the great Ivan Lendl, and a fifth victory in a row against world number one Nadal.

Nadal, who admitted afterwards that he had been beaten by the better man on the night, was ahead in their overall record going into the clash -- 23 wins to Federer's 14.

But this time he was up against it almost right away. 

Number two Federer put the Spaniard under the cosh in breaking him in the first game -- to roars of approval from the majority inside the arena.

Another break to 36-year-old Federer in the pivotal fifth game of the second set put him in reach of a second Shanghai Masters crown -- and a sixth title in 2017.

"We didn't think maybe we were going to have the year we did, I definitely didn't," Federer said on court afterwards, looking at Nadal, reflecting on their continued success even at this late stage of their careers.

"It's nice to share this court with you today and I hope there are more to come in the tournaments we've got left.

"It's been a pleasure playing against you here today."

Federer, fondly known as "Cow" in China for his laid-back personality, had started the better in grabbing the break and he then rattled through his own service game for 2-0.

Federer, a 19-time Grand Slam champion, was in full flow under the Qizhong Tennis Center roof, which was closed because of downpours in Shanghai.

Nadal, 31, fresh from winning the US Open and China Open, groaned while lashing many of his shots; Federer was all quiet efficiency.

Somewhere in the stadium somebody rattled a cow bell.

Federer made it 4-2 with two booming aces in a row, drawing huge cheers from much of the stadium.

In contrast, Nadal -- a 16-time Grand Slam winner but who had never won the Shanghai Masters -- was labouring through his service games.

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