Federer claimed his sixth title of the year with a clinical performance 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.
He beat Nadal in the final of the Australian Open and Miami Masters and in the last 16 at Indian Wells earlier this year.
Roger Federer won 94th title of his career, drawing him level with the great Ivan Lendl, and was a fifth victory in a row against world number one Nadal.
Nadal was ahead in their overall record down the years, with 23 wins to Federer’s 14, but he was up against it almost right away.
“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.
The 36-year-old Swiss, who has lost only four times in 2017, was again in imperious form as he won in 72 minutes.
It was his fourth win of the year against Nadal and his fifth in succession over the Spaniard.
Federer fired 10 aces, and the 19-time Grand Slam winner’s 94th career title cut his deficit against Nadal to 23-15.
“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 is now the only man who can deny Nadal the number one ranking at the end of the year, but the Swiss said the ATP Finals at London’s 02 Arena next month was his main focus.
“I’ll go home and we will work out where I play next, Basel, Paris, one of those or none, before I go to London, which is my priority,” said Federer.
“World number one I don’t think will happen but if I play like this maybe I’ll get close, who knows?”