Roger Federer produced a superb display as he comfortably beat world number one Rafael Nadal to clinch the Shanghai Masters title.
The Swiss star dominated the final and secured his sixth major crown of the season with a 6-4, 6-3 win over his arch rival at the Qizhong Forest Sports City Arena in the Chinese city.
Those expecting a classic contest between two titans of tennis were left disappointed as Federer broke at crucial times to lift the trophy.
The result handed the 36-year-old a fifth successive triumph over the Spaniard and moved him level with Ivan Lendl in terms of Open era titles as both players have 94 to their name.
Only American Jimmy Connors has more with 109.
Federer took the initiative from the outset as he took advantage of the fast conditions on court under the closed roof at the arena to move into a 4-2 lead in the first set.
The 19-time grand slam champion served it out to strike first in the final but the early exchanges in the second set were much more evenly-contested.
Neither Federer nor Nadal gave anything away until the Swiss earned the crucial break in the fifth game.
It proved to be the turning point as Federer went on to record a commanding win in an hour and 12 minutes.
The victory, his fourth of the year over Nadal, maintains his pursuit of the Spaniard’s world number one ranking.
He is the only player who is able to overtake Nadal at the summit of the standings and the battle for top spot could be decided at the season-ending World Tour Finals in London in November.
“I’m not thinking about it, I just try to be healthy now,” said Federer.
“I’ll go back to Switzerland tomorrow with my team and decide what I’m going to play, whether I’ll go to Basel and Paris.
“I’m focused on London and winning there.
“If I play like this, maybe, who knows I’ll get close to it.”
By Liam Morgan
Republished with permission from insidethegames.biz.