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Shanghai Masters: Federer beats Nadal, snatches title

Shanghai Masters: Federer beats Nadal, snatches title

"I could maybe have done some things better", said Nadal.

Maria Sharapova won her first title in more than two years.

Although Nadal still holds an edge in the career series - he is now 23-15 against Federer - that actually may make the win more significant for Federer. You can't win them all against Rafa, to be honest. "He's too good of a player", he added.

"He played very high level of tennis during the whole season, so well done for him and happy to see him play well".

It was the first time in the duo's storied rivalry that Federer has beaten Nadal five times in a row and the comprehensive manner in which he dispatched the current world No 1 suggested he has finally solved the puzzle against a player he's struggled against so often in the past.

The Swiss world number two beat Nadal in the finals of the Australian Open and Miami Masters and in the last 16 at Indian Wells earlier this year, and never looked like losing to his long-time rival in Shanghai, firing 10 aces as he cruised to victory. "Beijing, Shanghai have been a very positive two weeks for me", he said.

"I felt I was playing well all week and that settled my nerves because I was returning well from the match here against (Diego) Schwartzman (in his opener)".

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

"It's been a pleasure playing against you here today". That's the real thing, no?

The Shanghai Masters is Federer's 94th career title, moving him into a tie with Ivan Lendl in second place on the Open era list.

The 30-year-old former world number one triumphed 7-5, 7-6 (10/8) against teenager Aryna Sabalenka of Belarus to claim her first title since serving a 15-month doping ban.

The "King of Clay" has won 13 of the 15 meetings with Federer on the red dirt, but their last meeting on that surface came back in 2013.

"Such a special, special tournament, and victory for me, one that I'll remember forever", Sharapova said. Sunday's result will lift Sharapova to No. 57 in the world rankings.

When that tiebreaker is applied, Federer would win it, as he would have earned more points this year from Slams, Masters, and the Tour Finals than Nadal would have. Barbora Strycova ended a six-year wait for her second WTA singles title by defeating Magdalena Rybarikova of Slovakia 6-4, 6-1 at the Ladies Linz in Linz, Austria.

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