Tennis star Rafael Nadal

Rafael Nadal pulled out of the London Olympics on Thursday due to injury.

Roger Federer vs Rafael Nadal: The five ages of tennis's greatest rivalry

2017 has so far been the year when tennis went back to the future. For the first time since 2010 Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal picked up the first two slams of the year, and the thrilling Australian Open final between the two evergreen legends was a reminder of why the match-up is viewed by most observers as the greatest rivalry in tennis, and possibly even in all of sport. The pair have taken tennis to new heights and over 13 years have lifted the other's game to levels never seen before in the game.  Federer has more slams than any male player in the history of the sport with 18, while Nadal is in second place with 15. The Spaniard though leads the overall head to head 23-14 and has won nine of the pair's 12 grand slam matches.  Ahead of Wimbledon getting under way and with both men once again in contention to win the title, Telegraph Sport breaks down their rivalry into five chapters.  Federer vs Nadal: ranking their greatest ever grand slam matches 2004-2006: The master and the young pretender By the time Federer and Nadal first met it was March 2004 and Federer, aged 22, was already a multiple grand slam champion. Nadal by contrast was just 17 and taking his first tentative steps in the sport. Still, the young Spaniard won the match 6-3, 6-3 in Miami and people were beginning to take notice of the wild-haired youngster with the long shorts and singlet.  Just over a year later the pair met in a grand slam for the first time, and it was Nadal, on his 19th birthday, who claimed the victory in a four-set French Open semi-final. Nadal went on to win the title two days later, and well and truly announce himself as a potential rival to the great Swiss, who ended 2005 with six slam titles.  Federer and Nadal in 2005 By the end of 2006, the two players had settled into a bit of a pattern. Federer would win pretty much all of the high-profile grass and hard-court titles, and Nadal would hoover up anything on clay. When they faced each other, it tended to be Nadal who come out on top, winning three clay-court finals that year - including the French Open - but losing the Wimbledon final in four sets.  Despite losing at SW19 though, the tournament was something of a breakthrough for Nadal, who reached his first Wimbledon final having never advanced further than the third round. The Spaniard was starting to believe that he could play on the grass, despite being written off by most as a clay-court only specialist.  Federer wins: 3 Nadal wins: 6 Federer grand slams: 8 (he also won one in 2003) Nadal grand slams: 2 Wimbledon: All the winners since Roger Federer's first title 00:54 2007-2009: The blazer and the pirate These were truly halcyon days for the sport when Federer and Nadal's rivalry reached its apogee and took the tennis world's breath away.  By the start of 2007 Federer and Nadal were ensconced as the world's No 1 and 2, having finished each of the previous two years in that spot (and 2004 at No 1 in Federer's case). The pair would end up finishing every year as one and two between 2005 and 2010, which is a record sequence in the history of the ATP rankings.   They were so dominant that they contested five grand slam finals between 2007 and 2009, with Nadal winning four of them. Each final was significant for different reasons, with Nadal's 6-1, 6-3, 6-0 evsiceration of his rival at Roland Garros in 2008 the most one-sided final between the two, as the snarling Spaniard clung on to the French Open title with the ferocity of a guard dog protecting the house from unwanted intruders.  Federer and Nadal at Wimbledon in 2007  The 2009 Australian Open final and 2007 Wimbledon finals were also memorable and hard-fought five-setters, with Nadal taking the former and Federer the latter. But the peak of the rivalry, and surely of tennis as a whole, came on Sunday July 6 2008.  Federer bestrode the Centre Court like a colossus, wearing his personalised cardigan having worn a monogrammed white blazer the year before at a venue where he had won five straight titles. Nadal entered in his three-quarter length shorts and vest, looking like a swashbuckling pirate ravenously searching for booty.  Everything had come down to this - Nadal had inflicted four straight defeats on Federer at the French Open but this was Wimbledon, this was Federer's territory. What ensued was the single greatest match in the history of the sport, with Nadal eventually triumphing in five sets at 9.15pm local time after 4 hours and 48 minutes of play as the two titans of the sport finished the match in almost darkness.  The King had been dethroned at last.  But though the final represented a high watermark for the sport, it did not instantly herald an era of dominance for the Spaniard. Instead debilitating knee problems wiped out much of his year in 2009, which contributed to his only defeat at Roland Garros between 2005 and 2014 and meant he could not defend his hard-earned Wimbledon title.  In his absence Federer won his only French Open title and regained his crown at SW19 to take him to 15 slam titles, one clear of the record-holder Pete Sampras.  Federer wins: 4 Nadal wins: 7 Federer grand slams: 6  Nadal grand slams: 4 2010- 2014: The transitional years After that horrendous run of injuries, Nadal re-established himself at the top of the sport in 2010 by winning three majors, though strangely none of them included matches against Federer. It was a sign of things to come, as gradually slam meetings between the two foes became less and less common, and 2010 would prove to be the last time the pair would end a calendar year in the top two spots.  The arrival of Novak Djokovic, who won three out of the four majors in 2011, meant matches between Nadal and Federer were becoming rarer, and all the more cherished for that. Unfortunately though Federer could not get a handle on his rival when the pair met in the most high-profile matches. Nadal won the French Open final in four sets in 2011, and was the victor at the Australian Open semi-finals of 2012 and 2014, in four sets for the former and straight sets for the latter.  The Spaniard was still hoovering up slams, and won eight in this period, but Federer picked up only two and none after Wimbledon in 2012. And Djokovic and Andy Murray's improvement meant Federer v Nadal matches were no longer solely finals. Twelve out of the 13 contests between the two has been finals between 2007 and 2010, whereas only two of the pair's 11 meetings were finals between 2011 and 2014.  Federer wins: 3 Nadal wins: 10 Federer grand slams: 2 Nadal grand slams: 8 Nadal during a win against Federer in the 2014 Australian Open semi-final  2015-2016: The elder statesmen By the start of 2015 Federer was 33 and Nadal 28, and both men were veterans of the tour whose best days were widely thought to be behind them.  Federer because of his age, Nadal because of his lingering injury problems and reduced explosivity. Neither won a grand slam in the period, and the pair met just the once - in the final of the ATP 500 event in Basel, with Federer winning in three sets.  Murray v Djokovic had emerged as the dominant rivalry in the sport, and it was regretfully accepted that Federer and Nadal had enjoyed wonderful careers but were unlikely to ever add to their grand slam totals.  Federer wins: 1 Nadal wins: 0 Federer grand slams:0​ Nadal grand slams: 0 2017: The rebirth Amazingly, despite both players coming into the 2017 Australian Open final on the back of injury-ravaged years, Federer and Nadal rediscovered their best form and both stormed to the final. It was the dream contest for the tournament and most supporters, and the match did not disappoint. In an undulating contest lasting more than three and a half hours, Federer eventually prevailed 6-4, 3-6, 6-1, 3-6, 6-3. Since then Federer has completed three more wins over Nadal - in Indian Wells, Miami and Shanghai - and all without dropping a set.  Federer and Nadal in Miami this year  Federer's four victories over his old foe this year means he has won five matches in a row against Nadal for the first time in his career.  A big reason for the turnaround has been Federer's much improved backhand, which has taken away Nadal's principal tactic of sending looping forehands into his opponent's ad corner and drawing errors. As a pair, 'Fedal' have been utterly dominant in 2017 - winning two slams each and claiming the top two spots in the rankings after Shanghai's final.  To think that a year ago the players were both injured and were on a tennis court together not for a competitive match but for the opening of Nadal's academy in Majorca.  Federer wins: 3 Nadal wins: 0 Federer grand slams: 2​ Nadal grand slams: 2

Roger Federer vs Rafael Nadal: The five ages of tennis's greatest rivalry

2017 has so far been the year when tennis went back to the future. For the first time since 2010 Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal picked up the first two slams of the year, and the thrilling Australian Open final between the two evergreen legends was a reminder of why the match-up is viewed by most observers as the greatest rivalry in tennis, and possibly even in all of sport. The pair have taken tennis to new heights and over 13 years have lifted the other's game to levels never seen before in the game.  Federer has more slams than any male player in the history of the sport with 18, while Nadal is in second place with 15. The Spaniard though leads the overall head to head 23-14 and has won nine of the pair's 12 grand slam matches.  Ahead of Wimbledon getting under way and with both men once again in contention to win the title, Telegraph Sport breaks down their rivalry into five chapters.  Federer vs Nadal: ranking their greatest ever grand slam matches 2004-2006: The master and the young pretender By the time Federer and Nadal first met it was March 2004 and Federer, aged 22, was already a multiple grand slam champion. Nadal by contrast was just 17 and taking his first tentative steps in the sport. Still, the young Spaniard won the match 6-3, 6-3 in Miami and people were beginning to take notice of the wild-haired youngster with the long shorts and singlet.  Just over a year later the pair met in a grand slam for the first time, and it was Nadal, on his 19th birthday, who claimed the victory in a four-set French Open semi-final. Nadal went on to win the title two days later, and well and truly announce himself as a potential rival to the great Swiss, who ended 2005 with six slam titles.  Federer and Nadal in 2005 By the end of 2006, the two players had settled into a bit of a pattern. Federer would win pretty much all of the high-profile grass and hard-court titles, and Nadal would hoover up anything on clay. When they faced each other, it tended to be Nadal who come out on top, winning three clay-court finals that year - including the French Open - but losing the Wimbledon final in four sets.  Despite losing at SW19 though, the tournament was something of a breakthrough for Nadal, who reached his first Wimbledon final having never advanced further than the third round. The Spaniard was starting to believe that he could play on the grass, despite being written off by most as a clay-court only specialist.  Federer wins: 3 Nadal wins: 6 Federer grand slams: 8 (he also won one in 2003) Nadal grand slams: 2 Wimbledon: All the winners since Roger Federer's first title 00:54 2007-2009: The blazer and the pirate These were truly halcyon days for the sport when Federer and Nadal's rivalry reached its apogee and took the tennis world's breath away.  By the start of 2007 Federer and Nadal were ensconced as the world's No 1 and 2, having finished each of the previous two years in that spot (and 2004 at No 1 in Federer's case). The pair would end up finishing every year as one and two between 2005 and 2010, which is a record sequence in the history of the ATP rankings.   They were so dominant that they contested five grand slam finals between 2007 and 2009, with Nadal winning four of them. Each final was significant for different reasons, with Nadal's 6-1, 6-3, 6-0 evsiceration of his rival at Roland Garros in 2008 the most one-sided final between the two, as the snarling Spaniard clung on to the French Open title with the ferocity of a guard dog protecting the house from unwanted intruders.  Federer and Nadal at Wimbledon in 2007  The 2009 Australian Open final and 2007 Wimbledon finals were also memorable and hard-fought five-setters, with Nadal taking the former and Federer the latter. But the peak of the rivalry, and surely of tennis as a whole, came on Sunday July 6 2008.  Federer bestrode the Centre Court like a colossus, wearing his personalised cardigan having worn a monogrammed white blazer the year before at a venue where he had won five straight titles. Nadal entered in his three-quarter length shorts and vest, looking like a swashbuckling pirate ravenously searching for booty.  Everything had come down to this - Nadal had inflicted four straight defeats on Federer at the French Open but this was Wimbledon, this was Federer's territory. What ensued was the single greatest match in the history of the sport, with Nadal eventually triumphing in five sets at 9.15pm local time after 4 hours and 48 minutes of play as the two titans of the sport finished the match in almost darkness.  The King had been dethroned at last.  But though the final represented a high watermark for the sport, it did not instantly herald an era of dominance for the Spaniard. Instead debilitating knee problems wiped out much of his year in 2009, which contributed to his only defeat at Roland Garros between 2005 and 2014 and meant he could not defend his hard-earned Wimbledon title.  In his absence Federer won his only French Open title and regained his crown at SW19 to take him to 15 slam titles, one clear of the record-holder Pete Sampras.  Federer wins: 4 Nadal wins: 7 Federer grand slams: 6  Nadal grand slams: 4 2010- 2014: The transitional years After that horrendous run of injuries, Nadal re-established himself at the top of the sport in 2010 by winning three majors, though strangely none of them included matches against Federer. It was a sign of things to come, as gradually slam meetings between the two foes became less and less common, and 2010 would prove to be the last time the pair would end a calendar year in the top two spots.  The arrival of Novak Djokovic, who won three out of the four majors in 2011, meant matches between Nadal and Federer were becoming rarer, and all the more cherished for that. Unfortunately though Federer could not get a handle on his rival when the pair met in the most high-profile matches. Nadal won the French Open final in four sets in 2011, and was the victor at the Australian Open semi-finals of 2012 and 2014, in four sets for the former and straight sets for the latter.  The Spaniard was still hoovering up slams, and won eight in this period, but Federer picked up only two and none after Wimbledon in 2012. And Djokovic and Andy Murray's improvement meant Federer v Nadal matches were no longer solely finals. Twelve out of the 13 contests between the two has been finals between 2007 and 2010, whereas only two of the pair's 11 meetings were finals between 2011 and 2014.  Federer wins: 3 Nadal wins: 10 Federer grand slams: 2 Nadal grand slams: 8 Nadal during a win against Federer in the 2014 Australian Open semi-final  2015-2016: The elder statesmen By the start of 2015 Federer was 33 and Nadal 28, and both men were veterans of the tour whose best days were widely thought to be behind them.  Federer because of his age, Nadal because of his lingering injury problems and reduced explosivity. Neither won a grand slam in the period, and the pair met just the once - in the final of the ATP 500 event in Basel, with Federer winning in three sets.  Murray v Djokovic had emerged as the dominant rivalry in the sport, and it was regretfully accepted that Federer and Nadal had enjoyed wonderful careers but were unlikely to ever add to their grand slam totals.  Federer wins: 1 Nadal wins: 0 Federer grand slams:0​ Nadal grand slams: 0 2017: The rebirth Amazingly, despite both players coming into the 2017 Australian Open final on the back of injury-ravaged years, Federer and Nadal rediscovered their best form and both stormed to the final. It was the dream contest for the tournament and most supporters, and the match did not disappoint. In an undulating contest lasting more than three and a half hours, Federer eventually prevailed 6-4, 3-6, 6-1, 3-6, 6-3. Since then Federer has completed three more wins over Nadal - in Indian Wells, Miami and Shanghai - and all without dropping a set.  Federer and Nadal in Miami this year  Federer's four victories over his old foe this year means he has won five matches in a row against Nadal for the first time in his career.  A big reason for the turnaround has been Federer's much improved backhand, which has taken away Nadal's principal tactic of sending looping forehands into his opponent's ad corner and drawing errors. As a pair, 'Fedal' have been utterly dominant in 2017 - winning two slams each and claiming the top two spots in the rankings after Shanghai's final.  To think that a year ago the players were both injured and were on a tennis court together not for a competitive match but for the opening of Nadal's academy in Majorca.  Federer wins: 3 Nadal wins: 0 Federer grand slams: 2​ Nadal grand slams: 2

Roger Federer vs Rafael Nadal: The five ages of tennis's greatest rivalry

2017 has so far been the year when tennis went back to the future. For the first time since 2010 Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal picked up the first two slams of the year, and the thrilling Australian Open final between the two evergreen legends was a reminder of why the match-up is viewed by most observers as the greatest rivalry in tennis, and possibly even in all of sport. The pair have taken tennis to new heights and over 13 years have lifted the other's game to levels never seen before in the game.  Federer has more slams than any male player in the history of the sport with 18, while Nadal is in second place with 15. The Spaniard though leads the overall head to head 23-14 and has won nine of the pair's 12 grand slam matches.  Ahead of Wimbledon getting under way and with both men once again in contention to win the title, Telegraph Sport breaks down their rivalry into five chapters.  Federer vs Nadal: ranking their greatest ever grand slam matches 2004-2006: The master and the young pretender By the time Federer and Nadal first met it was March 2004 and Federer, aged 22, was already a multiple grand slam champion. Nadal by contrast was just 17 and taking his first tentative steps in the sport. Still, the young Spaniard won the match 6-3, 6-3 in Miami and people were beginning to take notice of the wild-haired youngster with the long shorts and singlet.  Just over a year later the pair met in a grand slam for the first time, and it was Nadal, on his 19th birthday, who claimed the victory in a four-set French Open semi-final. Nadal went on to win the title two days later, and well and truly announce himself as a potential rival to the great Swiss, who ended 2005 with six slam titles.  Federer and Nadal in 2005 By the end of 2006, the two players had settled into a bit of a pattern. Federer would win pretty much all of the high-profile grass and hard-court titles, and Nadal would hoover up anything on clay. When they faced each other, it tended to be Nadal who come out on top, winning three clay-court finals that year - including the French Open - but losing the Wimbledon final in four sets.  Despite losing at SW19 though, the tournament was something of a breakthrough for Nadal, who reached his first Wimbledon final having never advanced further than the third round. The Spaniard was starting to believe that he could play on the grass, despite being written off by most as a clay-court only specialist.  Federer wins: 3 Nadal wins: 6 Federer grand slams: 8 (he also won one in 2003) Nadal grand slams: 2 Wimbledon: All the winners since Roger Federer's first title 00:54 2007-2009: The blazer and the pirate These were truly halcyon days for the sport when Federer and Nadal's rivalry reached its apogee and took the tennis world's breath away.  By the start of 2007 Federer and Nadal were ensconced as the world's No 1 and 2, having finished each of the previous two years in that spot (and 2004 at No 1 in Federer's case). The pair would end up finishing every year as one and two between 2005 and 2010, which is a record sequence in the history of the ATP rankings.   They were so dominant that they contested five grand slam finals between 2007 and 2009, with Nadal winning four of them. Each final was significant for different reasons, with Nadal's 6-1, 6-3, 6-0 evsiceration of his rival at Roland Garros in 2008 the most one-sided final between the two, as the snarling Spaniard clung on to the French Open title with the ferocity of a guard dog protecting the house from unwanted intruders.  Federer and Nadal at Wimbledon in 2007  The 2009 Australian Open final and 2007 Wimbledon finals were also memorable and hard-fought five-setters, with Nadal taking the former and Federer the latter. But the peak of the rivalry, and surely of tennis as a whole, came on Sunday July 6 2008.  Federer bestrode the Centre Court like a colossus, wearing his personalised cardigan having worn a monogrammed white blazer the year before at a venue where he had won five straight titles. Nadal entered in his three-quarter length shorts and vest, looking like a swashbuckling pirate ravenously searching for booty.  Everything had come down to this - Nadal had inflicted four straight defeats on Federer at the French Open but this was Wimbledon, this was Federer's territory. What ensued was the single greatest match in the history of the sport, with Nadal eventually triumphing in five sets at 9.15pm local time after 4 hours and 48 minutes of play as the two titans of the sport finished the match in almost darkness.  The King had been dethroned at last.  But though the final represented a high watermark for the sport, it did not instantly herald an era of dominance for the Spaniard. Instead debilitating knee problems wiped out much of his year in 2009, which contributed to his only defeat at Roland Garros between 2005 and 2014 and meant he could not defend his hard-earned Wimbledon title.  In his absence Federer won his only French Open title and regained his crown at SW19 to take him to 15 slam titles, one clear of the record-holder Pete Sampras.  Federer wins: 4 Nadal wins: 7 Federer grand slams: 6  Nadal grand slams: 4 2010- 2014: The transitional years After that horrendous run of injuries, Nadal re-established himself at the top of the sport in 2010 by winning three majors, though strangely none of them included matches against Federer. It was a sign of things to come, as gradually slam meetings between the two foes became less and less common, and 2010 would prove to be the last time the pair would end a calendar year in the top two spots.  The arrival of Novak Djokovic, who won three out of the four majors in 2011, meant matches between Nadal and Federer were becoming rarer, and all the more cherished for that. Unfortunately though Federer could not get a handle on his rival when the pair met in the most high-profile matches. Nadal won the French Open final in four sets in 2011, and was the victor at the Australian Open semi-finals of 2012 and 2014, in four sets for the former and straight sets for the latter.  The Spaniard was still hoovering up slams, and won eight in this period, but Federer picked up only two and none after Wimbledon in 2012. And Djokovic and Andy Murray's improvement meant Federer v Nadal matches were no longer solely finals. Twelve out of the 13 contests between the two has been finals between 2007 and 2010, whereas only two of the pair's 11 meetings were finals between 2011 and 2014.  Federer wins: 3 Nadal wins: 10 Federer grand slams: 2 Nadal grand slams: 8 Nadal during a win against Federer in the 2014 Australian Open semi-final  2015-2016: The elder statesmen By the start of 2015 Federer was 33 and Nadal 28, and both men were veterans of the tour whose best days were widely thought to be behind them.  Federer because of his age, Nadal because of his lingering injury problems and reduced explosivity. Neither won a grand slam in the period, and the pair met just the once - in the final of the ATP 500 event in Basel, with Federer winning in three sets.  Murray v Djokovic had emerged as the dominant rivalry in the sport, and it was regretfully accepted that Federer and Nadal had enjoyed wonderful careers but were unlikely to ever add to their grand slam totals.  Federer wins: 1 Nadal wins: 0 Federer grand slams:0​ Nadal grand slams: 0 2017: The rebirth Amazingly, despite both players coming into the 2017 Australian Open final on the back of injury-ravaged years, Federer and Nadal rediscovered their best form and both stormed to the final. It was the dream contest for the tournament and most supporters, and the match did not disappoint. In an undulating contest lasting more than three and a half hours, Federer eventually prevailed 6-4, 3-6, 6-1, 3-6, 6-3. Since then Federer has completed three more wins over Nadal - in Indian Wells, Miami and Shanghai - and all without dropping a set.  Federer and Nadal in Miami this year  Federer's four victories over his old foe this year means he has won five matches in a row against Nadal for the first time in his career.  A big reason for the turnaround has been Federer's much improved backhand, which has taken away Nadal's principal tactic of sending looping forehands into his opponent's ad corner and drawing errors. As a pair, 'Fedal' have been utterly dominant in 2017 - winning two slams each and claiming the top two spots in the rankings after Shanghai's final.  To think that a year ago the players were both injured and were on a tennis court together not for a competitive match but for the opening of Nadal's academy in Majorca.  Federer wins: 3 Nadal wins: 0 Federer grand slams: 2​ Nadal grand slams: 2

Roger Federer vs Rafael Nadal: The five ages of tennis's greatest rivalry

2017 has so far been the year when tennis went back to the future. For the first time since 2010 Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal picked up the first two slams of the year, and the thrilling Australian Open final between the two evergreen legends was a reminder of why the match-up is viewed by most observers as the greatest rivalry in tennis, and possibly even in all of sport. The pair have taken tennis to new heights and over 13 years have lifted the other's game to levels never seen before in the game.  Federer has more slams than any male player in the history of the sport with 18, while Nadal is in second place with 15. The Spaniard though leads the overall head to head 23-14 and has won nine of the pair's 12 grand slam matches.  Ahead of Wimbledon getting under way and with both men once again in contention to win the title, Telegraph Sport breaks down their rivalry into five chapters.  Federer vs Nadal: ranking their greatest ever grand slam matches 2004-2006: The master and the young pretender By the time Federer and Nadal first met it was March 2004 and Federer, aged 22, was already a multiple grand slam champion. Nadal by contrast was just 17 and taking his first tentative steps in the sport. Still, the young Spaniard won the match 6-3, 6-3 in Miami and people were beginning to take notice of the wild-haired youngster with the long shorts and singlet.  Just over a year later the pair met in a grand slam for the first time, and it was Nadal, on his 19th birthday, who claimed the victory in a four-set French Open semi-final. Nadal went on to win the title two days later, and well and truly announce himself as a potential rival to the great Swiss, who ended 2005 with six slam titles.  Federer and Nadal in 2005 By the end of 2006, the two players had settled into a bit of a pattern. Federer would win pretty much all of the high-profile grass and hard-court titles, and Nadal would hoover up anything on clay. When they faced each other, it tended to be Nadal who come out on top, winning three clay-court finals that year - including the French Open - but losing the Wimbledon final in four sets.  Despite losing at SW19 though, the tournament was something of a breakthrough for Nadal, who reached his first Wimbledon final having never advanced further than the third round. The Spaniard was starting to believe that he could play on the grass, despite being written off by most as a clay-court only specialist.  Federer wins: 3 Nadal wins: 6 Federer grand slams: 8 (he also won one in 2003) Nadal grand slams: 2 Wimbledon: All the winners since Roger Federer's first title 00:54 2007-2009: The blazer and the pirate These were truly halcyon days for the sport when Federer and Nadal's rivalry reached its apogee and took the tennis world's breath away.  By the start of 2007 Federer and Nadal were ensconced as the world's No 1 and 2, having finished each of the previous two years in that spot (and 2004 at No 1 in Federer's case). The pair would end up finishing every year as one and two between 2005 and 2010, which is a record sequence in the history of the ATP rankings.   They were so dominant that they contested five grand slam finals between 2007 and 2009, with Nadal winning four of them. Each final was significant for different reasons, with Nadal's 6-1, 6-3, 6-0 evsiceration of his rival at Roland Garros in 2008 the most one-sided final between the two, as the snarling Spaniard clung on to the French Open title with the ferocity of a guard dog protecting the house from unwanted intruders.  Federer and Nadal at Wimbledon in 2007  The 2009 Australian Open final and 2007 Wimbledon finals were also memorable and hard-fought five-setters, with Nadal taking the former and Federer the latter. But the peak of the rivalry, and surely of tennis as a whole, came on Sunday July 6 2008.  Federer bestrode the Centre Court like a colossus, wearing his personalised cardigan having worn a monogrammed white blazer the year before at a venue where he had won five straight titles. Nadal entered in his three-quarter length shorts and vest, looking like a swashbuckling pirate ravenously searching for booty.  Everything had come down to this - Nadal had inflicted four straight defeats on Federer at the French Open but this was Wimbledon, this was Federer's territory. What ensued was the single greatest match in the history of the sport, with Nadal eventually triumphing in five sets at 9.15pm local time after 4 hours and 48 minutes of play as the two titans of the sport finished the match in almost darkness.  The King had been dethroned at last.  But though the final represented a high watermark for the sport, it did not instantly herald an era of dominance for the Spaniard. Instead debilitating knee problems wiped out much of his year in 2009, which contributed to his only defeat at Roland Garros between 2005 and 2014 and meant he could not defend his hard-earned Wimbledon title.  In his absence Federer won his only French Open title and regained his crown at SW19 to take him to 15 slam titles, one clear of the record-holder Pete Sampras.  Federer wins: 4 Nadal wins: 7 Federer grand slams: 6  Nadal grand slams: 4 2010- 2014: The transitional years After that horrendous run of injuries, Nadal re-established himself at the top of the sport in 2010 by winning three majors, though strangely none of them included matches against Federer. It was a sign of things to come, as gradually slam meetings between the two foes became less and less common, and 2010 would prove to be the last time the pair would end a calendar year in the top two spots.  The arrival of Novak Djokovic, who won three out of the four majors in 2011, meant matches between Nadal and Federer were becoming rarer, and all the more cherished for that. Unfortunately though Federer could not get a handle on his rival when the pair met in the most high-profile matches. Nadal won the French Open final in four sets in 2011, and was the victor at the Australian Open semi-finals of 2012 and 2014, in four sets for the former and straight sets for the latter.  The Spaniard was still hoovering up slams, and won eight in this period, but Federer picked up only two and none after Wimbledon in 2012. And Djokovic and Andy Murray's improvement meant Federer v Nadal matches were no longer solely finals. Twelve out of the 13 contests between the two has been finals between 2007 and 2010, whereas only two of the pair's 11 meetings were finals between 2011 and 2014.  Federer wins: 3 Nadal wins: 10 Federer grand slams: 2 Nadal grand slams: 8 Nadal during a win against Federer in the 2014 Australian Open semi-final  2015-2016: The elder statesmen By the start of 2015 Federer was 33 and Nadal 28, and both men were veterans of the tour whose best days were widely thought to be behind them.  Federer because of his age, Nadal because of his lingering injury problems and reduced explosivity. Neither won a grand slam in the period, and the pair met just the once - in the final of the ATP 500 event in Basel, with Federer winning in three sets.  Murray v Djokovic had emerged as the dominant rivalry in the sport, and it was regretfully accepted that Federer and Nadal had enjoyed wonderful careers but were unlikely to ever add to their grand slam totals.  Federer wins: 1 Nadal wins: 0 Federer grand slams:0​ Nadal grand slams: 0 2017: The rebirth Amazingly, despite both players coming into the 2017 Australian Open final on the back of injury-ravaged years, Federer and Nadal rediscovered their best form and both stormed to the final. It was the dream contest for the tournament and most supporters, and the match did not disappoint. In an undulating contest lasting more than three and a half hours, Federer eventually prevailed 6-4, 3-6, 6-1, 3-6, 6-3. Since then Federer has completed three more wins over Nadal - in Indian Wells, Miami and Shanghai - and all without dropping a set.  Federer and Nadal in Miami this year  Federer's four victories over his old foe this year means he has won five matches in a row against Nadal for the first time in his career.  A big reason for the turnaround has been Federer's much improved backhand, which has taken away Nadal's principal tactic of sending looping forehands into his opponent's ad corner and drawing errors. As a pair, 'Fedal' have been utterly dominant in 2017 - winning two slams each and claiming the top two spots in the rankings after Shanghai's final.  To think that a year ago the players were both injured and were on a tennis court together not for a competitive match but for the opening of Nadal's academy in Majorca.  Federer wins: 3 Nadal wins: 0 Federer grand slams: 2​ Nadal grand slams: 2

Roger Federer vs Rafael Nadal: The five ages of tennis's greatest rivalry

2017 has so far been the year when tennis went back to the future. For the first time since 2010 Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal picked up the first two slams of the year, and the thrilling Australian Open final between the two evergreen legends was a reminder of why the match-up is viewed by most observers as the greatest rivalry in tennis, and possibly even in all of sport. The pair have taken tennis to new heights and over 13 years have lifted the other's game to levels never seen before in the game.  Federer has more slams than any male player in the history of the sport with 18, while Nadal is in second place with 15. The Spaniard though leads the overall head to head 23-14 and has won nine of the pair's 12 grand slam matches.  Ahead of Wimbledon getting under way and with both men once again in contention to win the title, Telegraph Sport breaks down their rivalry into five chapters.  Federer vs Nadal: ranking their greatest ever grand slam matches 2004-2006: The master and the young pretender By the time Federer and Nadal first met it was March 2004 and Federer, aged 22, was already a multiple grand slam champion. Nadal by contrast was just 17 and taking his first tentative steps in the sport. Still, the young Spaniard won the match 6-3, 6-3 in Miami and people were beginning to take notice of the wild-haired youngster with the long shorts and singlet.  Just over a year later the pair met in a grand slam for the first time, and it was Nadal, on his 19th birthday, who claimed the victory in a four-set French Open semi-final. Nadal went on to win the title two days later, and well and truly announce himself as a potential rival to the great Swiss, who ended 2005 with six slam titles.  Federer and Nadal in 2005 By the end of 2006, the two players had settled into a bit of a pattern. Federer would win pretty much all of the high-profile grass and hard-court titles, and Nadal would hoover up anything on clay. When they faced each other, it tended to be Nadal who come out on top, winning three clay-court finals that year - including the French Open - but losing the Wimbledon final in four sets.  Despite losing at SW19 though, the tournament was something of a breakthrough for Nadal, who reached his first Wimbledon final having never advanced further than the third round. The Spaniard was starting to believe that he could play on the grass, despite being written off by most as a clay-court only specialist.  Federer wins: 3 Nadal wins: 6 Federer grand slams: 8 (he also won one in 2003) Nadal grand slams: 2 Wimbledon: All the winners since Roger Federer's first title 00:54 2007-2009: The blazer and the pirate These were truly halcyon days for the sport when Federer and Nadal's rivalry reached its apogee and took the tennis world's breath away.  By the start of 2007 Federer and Nadal were ensconced as the world's No 1 and 2, having finished each of the previous two years in that spot (and 2004 at No 1 in Federer's case). The pair would end up finishing every year as one and two between 2005 and 2010, which is a record sequence in the history of the ATP rankings.   They were so dominant that they contested five grand slam finals between 2007 and 2009, with Nadal winning four of them. Each final was significant for different reasons, with Nadal's 6-1, 6-3, 6-0 evsiceration of his rival at Roland Garros in 2008 the most one-sided final between the two, as the snarling Spaniard clung on to the French Open title with the ferocity of a guard dog protecting the house from unwanted intruders.  Federer and Nadal at Wimbledon in 2007  The 2009 Australian Open final and 2007 Wimbledon finals were also memorable and hard-fought five-setters, with Nadal taking the former and Federer the latter. But the peak of the rivalry, and surely of tennis as a whole, came on Sunday July 6 2008.  Federer bestrode the Centre Court like a colossus, wearing his personalised cardigan having worn a monogrammed white blazer the year before at a venue where he had won five straight titles. Nadal entered in his three-quarter length shorts and vest, looking like a swashbuckling pirate ravenously searching for booty.  Everything had come down to this - Nadal had inflicted four straight defeats on Federer at the French Open but this was Wimbledon, this was Federer's territory. What ensued was the single greatest match in the history of the sport, with Nadal eventually triumphing in five sets at 9.15pm local time after 4 hours and 48 minutes of play as the two titans of the sport finished the match in almost darkness.  The King had been dethroned at last.  But though the final represented a high watermark for the sport, it did not instantly herald an era of dominance for the Spaniard. Instead debilitating knee problems wiped out much of his year in 2009, which contributed to his only defeat at Roland Garros between 2005 and 2014 and meant he could not defend his hard-earned Wimbledon title.  In his absence Federer won his only French Open title and regained his crown at SW19 to take him to 15 slam titles, one clear of the record-holder Pete Sampras.  Federer wins: 4 Nadal wins: 7 Federer grand slams: 6  Nadal grand slams: 4 2010- 2014: The transitional years After that horrendous run of injuries, Nadal re-established himself at the top of the sport in 2010 by winning three majors, though strangely none of them included matches against Federer. It was a sign of things to come, as gradually slam meetings between the two foes became less and less common, and 2010 would prove to be the last time the pair would end a calendar year in the top two spots.  The arrival of Novak Djokovic, who won three out of the four majors in 2011, meant matches between Nadal and Federer were becoming rarer, and all the more cherished for that. Unfortunately though Federer could not get a handle on his rival when the pair met in the most high-profile matches. Nadal won the French Open final in four sets in 2011, and was the victor at the Australian Open semi-finals of 2012 and 2014, in four sets for the former and straight sets for the latter.  The Spaniard was still hoovering up slams, and won eight in this period, but Federer picked up only two and none after Wimbledon in 2012. And Djokovic and Andy Murray's improvement meant Federer v Nadal matches were no longer solely finals. Twelve out of the 13 contests between the two has been finals between 2007 and 2010, whereas only two of the pair's 11 meetings were finals between 2011 and 2014.  Federer wins: 3 Nadal wins: 10 Federer grand slams: 2 Nadal grand slams: 8 Nadal during a win against Federer in the 2014 Australian Open semi-final  2015-2016: The elder statesmen By the start of 2015 Federer was 33 and Nadal 28, and both men were veterans of the tour whose best days were widely thought to be behind them.  Federer because of his age, Nadal because of his lingering injury problems and reduced explosivity. Neither won a grand slam in the period, and the pair met just the once - in the final of the ATP 500 event in Basel, with Federer winning in three sets.  Murray v Djokovic had emerged as the dominant rivalry in the sport, and it was regretfully accepted that Federer and Nadal had enjoyed wonderful careers but were unlikely to ever add to their grand slam totals.  Federer wins: 1 Nadal wins: 0 Federer grand slams:0​ Nadal grand slams: 0 2017: The rebirth Amazingly, despite both players coming into the 2017 Australian Open final on the back of injury-ravaged years, Federer and Nadal rediscovered their best form and both stormed to the final. It was the dream contest for the tournament and most supporters, and the match did not disappoint. In an undulating contest lasting more than three and a half hours, Federer eventually prevailed 6-4, 3-6, 6-1, 3-6, 6-3. Since then Federer has completed three more wins over Nadal - in Indian Wells, Miami and Shanghai - and all without dropping a set.  Federer and Nadal in Miami this year  Federer's four victories over his old foe this year means he has won five matches in a row against Nadal for the first time in his career.  A big reason for the turnaround has been Federer's much improved backhand, which has taken away Nadal's principal tactic of sending looping forehands into his opponent's ad corner and drawing errors. As a pair, 'Fedal' have been utterly dominant in 2017 - winning two slams each and claiming the top two spots in the rankings after Shanghai's final.  To think that a year ago the players were both injured and were on a tennis court together not for a competitive match but for the opening of Nadal's academy in Majorca.  Federer wins: 3 Nadal wins: 0 Federer grand slams: 2​ Nadal grand slams: 2

The Tennis Debate: Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal's unchallenged dominance shames the chasing pack

Agree with the arguments put forward here? Disagree? Have your say in the comments section below. First of all, a caveat: Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal are two of the greatest tennis players of all time, and their collective renaissance this year has been nothing short of sensational. Sunday's Shanghai final for instance - won in straight sets by Federer - was hugely enjoyable, and provided another chance to marvel at how these two legends of the sport continue to challenge and inspire one another.  But, let's not kid ourselves - the rest of the field has had a collective shocker in 2017. This year was supposed to be dominated by the next chapter in the Andy Murray and Novak Djokovic rivalry, but both men have been laid low by injury and burnout, while Stan Wawrinka - the final member of the 'Big Five' - has been sidelined with a knee injury.  The struggles of those three presented a huge chance to the ATP's chasing pack to finally step from outside of the shadows and start winning majors.  Instead, the likes of Milos Raonic, Kei Nishikori and Tomas Berdych have grasped the opportunity with about as much conviction as Mesut Ozil tracking back after an opposition midfielder.  The 20 greatest tennis players of Open era Raonic and Nishikori have had their injury problems (yet again), but for Berdych, Marin Cilic and Grigor Dimitrov it's been another season of some good results,  some pretty wretched ones.  Of the young players coming through, Dominic Thiem enjoyed another run to the French Open semi-final, but once there looked as out of depth against Nadal as he had done a year earlier when thumped by Djokovic. It's worth remembering that Thiem is 24 years old now, and should really be kicking on and starting to break through.  Alex Zverev, 20, must be commended for making great strides this year and winning two Masters titles, but at the majors he has not gone further than the last 16 and suffered two first-round exits.  Nick Kyrgios meanwhile has been, well Nick Kyrgios.  All of this has presented Federer, 36 and Nadal, 31 with an opportunity to clean up and win slams seemingly at a canter, despite - or perhaps because of - having injury-plagued 2016 seasons. Both have won slams without dropping a set, while Nadal did not have to beat a player ranked in the top 25 to claim the US Open.  This is not to diminish what the pair have achieved in 2017, but given their age and recent injury problems, it's fair to ask the chasing pack: is that really all you've got?  Have your say in the comments section below

Tennis - Shanghai Masters tennis tournament - Men's Singles Finals

Tennis - Shanghai Masters tennis tournament - Men's Singles Finals - Shanghai, China - October 15, 2017 - Roger Federer of Switzerland lifts the trophy after winning against Rafael Nadal of Spain. REUTERS/Aly Song

Tennis - Shanghai Masters tennis tournament - Men's Singles Finals

Tennis - Shanghai Masters tennis tournament - Men's Singles Finals - Shanghai, China - October 15, 2017 - Roger Federer of Switzerland lifts the trophy after winning against Rafael Nadal of Spain. REUTERS/Aly Song

Federer beats Nadal to win Shanghai Masters title

Roger Federer extended his winning streak over Rafael Nadal this year to four matches after beating the top-ranked Spaniard 6-4, 6-3 to win the Shanghai Masters on Sunday.

Federer beats Nadal to win Shanghai Masters title

Roger Federer extended his winning streak over Rafael Nadal this year to four matches after beating the top-ranked Spaniard 6-4, 6-3 to win the Shanghai Masters on Sunday.

Federer beats Nadal to win Shanghai Masters title

Roger Federer of Switzerland celebrates after defeating Rafael Nadal of Spain in their men's singles final match of the Shanghai Masters tennis tournament at Qizhong Forest Sports City Tennis Center in Shanghai, China, Sunday, Oct. 15, 2017. (AP Photo/Andy Wong)

Federer beats Nadal to win Shanghai Masters title

Rafael Nadal of Spain serves against Marin Cilic of Croatia during their men's singles semifinals match in the Shanghai Masters tennis tournament at Qizhong Forest Sports City Tennis Center in Shanghai, China, Saturday, Oct. 14, 2017 (AP Photo/Andy Wong)

Federer beats Nadal to win Shanghai Masters title

Roger Federer of Switzerland looks as he plays against Juan Martin del Potro of Argentina during their men's semifinals match in the Shanghai Masters tennis tournament at Qizhong Forest Sports City Tennis Center in Shanghai, China, Saturday, Oct. 14, 2017. (AP Photo/Andy Wong)

No knee worries for Nadal

World number one Rafael Nadal is not concerned about his right knee despite wearing tape under it during Sunday's defeat to Roger Federer.

Federer Beats Nadal to Win Shanghai Masters Title

SHANGHAI (AP) Roger Federer extended his winning streak over Rafael Nadal this year to four matches after beating the top-ranked Spaniard 6-4, 6-3 to win the Shanghai Masters on Sunday.

The Swiss 19-time grand slam winner, who still trails Nadal 23-15 in their overall head-to-head record, didn't face a break point and started and ended the match with service breaks.

''I don't know what my expectations were going in,'' Federer said. ''I thought I might struggle early on because it was a late finish last night.

''I had no nerves before the match, surprisingly. I think I was pretty clear about how I wanted to play the match. I started off very well and relaxed from then on.''

Despite his dominance in 2017, Federer doesn't rate his chances of catching Nadal in their head-to-head record.

''It's not going to happen. We don't have enough years left on the tour. We ranked too good so we play each other only in finals at the moment... You can't win them all against Rafa, to be honest. He's too good of a player,'' Federer said.

Federer took advantage of three of seven break point opportunities in the match to snap Nadal's 16-game winning streak, which included his China Open victory last week.

Federer, who has won the last five encounters between the pair dating back to the 2015 Basel final, also beat Nadal in the Australian Open final, a round of 16 match at Indian Wells and the Miami final this year.

''Have been a very difficult match for me,'' Nadal said. ''He played very fast and he played well.

''Of course was not the best match for me of the week. When somebody plays better than you, sport is not very difficult. That's the real thing, no? When you play against somebody that is better than you in most of the things that really matters in this sport, in this kind of surface, then it's tougher.''

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.

Nadal arrived on court with a bandage under his right knee, the same leg he twice smacked with his racket after losing his serve for the first time this week in the semifinal.

Federer said he was surprised to see the wrap and didn't feel Nadal was struggling with his movement.

In his post-match press conference, Nadal elected not to discuss the knee injury, saying, ''I don't want to talk about that now, sorry, but after losing final is not the moment.''

When asked if he would play upcoming tournaments in Basel, Switzerland and Paris, Nadal refused to confirm his participation.

Federer took advantage of a third break point in the first game of the match with a winning backhand passing shot. He broke Nadal's serve again on a second break point in the fifth game of the second set when Nadal sailed a backhand crosscourt wide. In the final game, Nadal netted a forehand at 15-40 to end the 72-minute match.

Roger Federer continues dominance over Rafael Nadal in Shanghai Masters final

World number two Roger Federer lifted the Shanghai Masters crown on Sunday with victory over Rafael Nadal, his 350th ATP 1000 win.

Roger Federer beats Rafael Nadal in straight sets to win Shanghai Masters

Roger Federer beats Rafael Nadal in straight sets to win Shanghai Masters

Roger Federer beats Rafael Nadal in straight sets to win Shanghai Masters

Roger Federer produces masterclass to beat Rafael Nadal and clinch Shanghai Masters title

Roger Federer brushed aside world No 1 Rafael Nadal 6-4, 6-3 to win the Shanghai Masters and register his fourth victory of the year over his Spanish rival. The Swiss world No 2 beat Nadal in the finals of the Australian Open and Miami Masters and in the last 16 at Indian Wells, and never looked likely of losing to his long-time rival, firing 10 aces as he cruised to victory. Federer, the only man who can still stop Nadal ending the year as No 1, took an hour and 12 minutes to claim his sixth title of the year with a clinical performance. Federer remains 1,940 points off Nadal in the race for the No 1 spot but could close the gap with victories in Basel and Paris. The chase to end the year in the top spot could yet come down to the World Tour finals in London in mid November.   11:24AM Federer on how he's beaten Nadal five times in a row Not playing so much on clay! That's helpful, to avoid the entire claycourt season. With the bigger racket head sizes, I'm not slicing as much. I'm staying on the baseline, dictating points. My heads screwed on the right way as I haven't had to get it round any losses on clay too. Federer on the No 1 ranking... I'm not thinking about it. I just try to be healthy now. 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 (the No 1 spot). 11:16AM Federer takes to the mic I wasn't here last year because of injuries so it's nice to be back here. A stadium that I opened myself a few years ago. It's nice to share this court with you (Rafa) today and hopefully we've got more to come. "It's been a pleasure to share the court with you again today"@RogerFederer + @RafaelNadal = friendship goals#SHRolexMasterspic.twitter.com/5xUHRMiuga— Tennis TV (@TennisTV) October 15, 2017   11:10AM Here comes Rafa Nadal speaks I want to congratulate Roger for a great year. Today you played a fantastic match. This year for him has been my most successful year in China. It's been a great two weeks, I feel very happy for what has happened for me.  11:07AM Federer receives his trophy Federer receives a small bunch of flowers, a trophy and a Rolex watch from organisers during a lengthy presentation ceremony. Then they'll be a lengthy photo session before we can hear from today's champion.  11:02AM Federer clocking up the titles Victory today is Federer's 27th Masters 1000 title. It also means he stays in the hunt for the world No 1 ranking this season. Nadal remains in top spot and 1,940 points clear. But Federer could close on the Spaniard by playing and winning in Basel and Paris where there are 1,500pts at stake. What are the chances that the No 1 spot is on the line at the World Tour Finals in London? More history made.@RogerFederer beats Rafa Nadal for the 5th consecutive time to win 27th Masters 1000 title!#SHRolexMasterspic.twitter.com/kfcFegJXxU— Tennis TV (@TennisTV) October 15, 2017   10:57AM Federer* 6-4, 6-3 Nadal (*denotes next server) Nadal serving to stay in the championships now but Federer rushes the Spaniard by moving him up and down the baseline and then pulling the trigger. The Spaniard doesn't help his own cause by dumping a regulation backhand long and then slaps into the net with an overhead smash. Federer races to three championship points. Nadal saves the first by executing a volley. But he can't save the next and Federer continues his superiority over Nadal this year. That's his fourth of 2017 and his fifth overall. FEDERER WINS SHANGHAI MASTERS WITH STRAIGHT SETS WIN OVER NADAL. Federer celebrates his fifth straight win over Nadal Credit: Reuters   10:54AM Federer 6-4, 5-3 Nadal* (*denotes next server) A brief hold up to the start of the game as two officials take their seats don't disrupt Federer's flow as he sends down another ace. Even when Nadal does get his racket head on a return, he's still standing so far back that he has to cover a lot of room to get the ball back. At three-game points, Federer's mind goes a wandering as he cranks a return at the net well long. It's the only blot on his service book this game. 10:50AM Federer* 6-4, 4-3 Nadal (*denotes next server) Just over an hour played now and Nadal remains at a loss as to how to turn this match around. The Spaniard is on a 16-match winning streak heading into this final but Federer just has the beating of his great rival these days, especially on the hard courts. Federer keeps getting everything back at Nadal, drawing back to 40-30 but the world No 1 executes a drop shot for game.  10:46AM Federer 6-4, 4-2 Nadal* (*denotes next server) Nadal coming in for criticism from co-commentator Peter Fleming for not changing up his tactics and moving 'out of his comfort zone' as Federer motors through another service game. He races to three game points and cements the break with a love game.  10:43AM Federer* 6-4, 3-2 Nadal (*denotes next server) Federer strikes a beautiful backhand winner into the opposite corner for 15-30, but can't back it up as Nadal's forehand catches the Swiss out mid-court with Federer charging to the net.  Nadal shows a good response to edge to game point but Federer uses his trusty backhand wing again to punch a winner inside the line for deuce. Nadal has time to execute a backhand, but slaps into the net and the crowd crank up the volume as Federer has break point, the first of the second set. A mighty first serve saves the danger. But Federer won't give up, nipping into the net and executing a deft drop shot. Federer targets Nadal's backhand during the next tally rally and finally draws the error from that wing. He's made the breakthrough. FEDERER BREAKS. Nadal is broken in the second set Credit: Reuters   10:36AM Federer 6-4, 2-2 Nadal* (*denotes next server) Federer covers the net well to block any passing attempt from Nadal and forces the Spaniard to go long. Nadal goes for broke on one Federer serve, moving early shaping for a forehand reply, only for Federer to go down the middle. Nadal senses an opening at 30-all, but Federer stops the Spaniard getting ahead of himself with a backhand smash into the corner. Nadal loops the next serve wide but showed decent pressure during the game. 10:32AM Federer* 6-4, 1-2 Nadal (*denotes next server) Solid hold to love for Nadal. He needed that. He retreats to his chair trying to think of a plan to test Federer when they come out again.  10:29AM Federer 6-4, 1-1 Nadal* (*denotes next server) Nadal standing so far back now to receive Federer's serves and the Swiss takes note of this, rushing the net to serve-volley through to three game points. Nadal gets a point on the board, but they are few and far between on Fed's serve today.  10:27AM Federer* 6-4, 0-1 Nadal (*denotes next server) Wow. Federer starts the second as he left the first set, fizzing an unstoppable forehand down the line. But wait, a glimmer of hope now for Nadal as he pushes long on a couple of returns for game point. Federer, calm as you like swings and makes a service return to stay in the game but then can't get under a nippy forehand return from Nadal close to the baseline. 10:20AM Federer 6-4 Nadal* (*denotes next server) Federer bamboozles Nadal again, pushing him into the corner and then unleashing a dazzling forehand into the opposite one. Federer's precision has been superb as he races to three set points. An ace down the T secures him the set. FEDERER WINS THE FIRST SET.  10:17AM Federer* 5-4 Nadal (*denotes next server) A mishit from Nadal sees a forehand return change into a top-spin dropshot that lands short of Federer and is the slice of luck Nadal has been crying out for this final. It's a comfortable hold and his first to love. He'll make Federer serve for the first set.  10:14AM Federer 5-3 Nadal* (*denotes next server) Federer has never beaten Nadal five matches in a row, but currently he's on track to record that milestone. The Swiss is giving Nadal the run around on the baseline and the Spaniard is limited to the odd point here and there on Federer's serve.  10:10AM Federer* 4-3 Nadal (*denotes next server) This is a pure masterclass from Federer and Nadal has to rely on the odd error or two from the world No 2. Nadal stays toe-to-toe with Federer during another baseline slug and draws a mistake from Federer on his forehand wing. He's digging deep to try and keep in touch out there. Nadal serves against Federer Credit: AP   10:06AM Federer 4-2 Nadal* (*denotes next server) Former Chelsea striker Oscar is courtside as Federer eases through his service gears. Three straight aces move him to three game points. A fourth ace completes a perfect game in 50 seconds. Boom. 10:03AM Federer* 3-2 Nadal (*denotes next server) Nadal is being rushed to make his groundstrokes and is struggling to find the lines when put under such pressure. A couple of returns to the net move Nadal to two game points, but the Spaniard slaps his own backhand into the tape. No worries, an ace draws him closer to his great rival. 10:00AM Federer 3-1 Nadal* (*denotes next server) Both players showing indications they want to charge the net where possible to cut short the points. When a rally ensues, Federer has the upper hand, executing the angles and striking the winners. Federer throws in his first wayward shot of the final so far at game point by pushing a forehand long. Again, it's only a short delay as he secures another comfortable service hold. 9:55AM Federer* 2-1 Nadal (*denotes next server) Nadal looks to be shaping up to shake off that early service break when Federer whips a forehand winner across court which unnerves the Spaniard again. From the comfort of 30-0 up, Nadal strikes long to bring Federer level. A body serve catches Federer out and Nadal manages to stop the Swiss' momentum for the time being.  9:52AM Federer 2-0 Nadal* (*denotes next server) Federer is all over anything short coming back at him and causing Nadal all sorts of problems early into the final. He races to 40-15 with his first ace and then looks to have wrapped up the game with another ace, this time out wide, before a line judge calls for a second serve. It only holds him up by 10 seconds, mind. 9:49AM Federer* 1-0 Nadal (*denotes next server) Nadal serves first under the roof. The Spaniard scampers across and makes a zipping service return from Federer, but the Swiss catches his reply sweetly to send Nadal moving in the other direction but out of reach. A couple of dragged backhands into the tramlines hand Federer an early break at 15-40 against the stubble-wearing Federer. Nadal denies his rivalry of the first by stepping into a forehand and brings up deuce with a first ace. Federer sustains the pressure during the next rally, showing great aggressive to force a third break point. This time he takes it by flashing a crisp backhand winner past a net-charging Nadal. FEDERER BREAKS. 9:43AM Sharapova is a winner While Federer and Nadal finish their warm ups there's just time to say that Maria Sharapova has clinched her first WTA title since returning from a drugs ban after beating Aryna Sabalenka to win the Tianjin Open. The five-time grand slam champion overcame Belarusian teenager Sabalenka 7-5 7-6 (10/8). Maria Sharapova ������ (��@WTA) pic.twitter.com/vx6YLFU5Nh— doublefault28 (@doublefault28) October 15, 2017 9:37AM The roof has been closed Organisers have opted against any delays or holds up due to rain by closing the roof for the final. It has been raining heavily in Shanghai earlier today so it's probably the best call even though it's likely to favour Federer.  Both players are out on court, under the lights in Shanghai. Nadal dressed in all blue, Federer in white T-shirt and navy shorts.  9:34AM Can Nadal cement year end No 1 ranking? Victory for Nadal could all but secure the Spaniard of ending the year as the world No 1 for the fourth time.  A win today would extend Nadal's lead over Federer to 2,760 points in the rankings. Nadal hasn't finished the season as top dog since 2013. 9:18AM Back to normality Federer and Nadal resume duties across the net this morning for the fourth time this year. The last time these two giants of the sport were both on court, they were team-mates and jumping on each other's backs in the inaugural Laver Cup in Prague last month. In fact, the tennis world stopped for 81 months to watch Federer and Nadal team up in the doubles for the first time in their careers. While accusations were flying around after the tournament that this was merely a glorified exhibition at best, Federer and Nadal will both have their game faces on as their rivalry returns today. Federer and Nadal teamed up in the doubles at the Laver Cup Credit: Getty Images Federer has won the last four meetings between these two, three of which have been contested this year. You have to go back to the Australian Open in 2014 for Nadal's last win over the Swiss when he won their last four clash in straight sets to reach the final in Melbourne. 9:14AM Federer vs Nadal preview What is it? It's only the 38th encounter between Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal at the Shanghai Masters final. When is it? Today, this morning on Sunday, October 15. What time does it start? Around 9.30BST. What TV channel is it on? It's on Sky Sports Main Event channel from 9.30am. Alternatively, you can follow game-by-game latest with our rolling blog. Bookmark this page and come back in a little while. The 20 greatest tennis players of Open era How did both men reach the final? World No 1 and top seed in Shanghai, Nadal beat Croatia's Marin Cilic 7-5, 7-6 (3) in the first semi-final. Nadal is currently on a 16-match winning streak after lifting the China Open trophy last weekend. Second seed in China, Federer was stretched to three sets before posting a 3-6, 6-3, 6-3 win over Juan Martin del Potro. Federer, looking for his sixth title this year, won the Australian Open and Wimbledon this year to increase his Grand Slam men's singles record to 19 titles. What's their head-to-head record? Nadal holds a commanding 23-14 winning record over Federer, but Federer has won their last four meetings, including all three this season.  What's our prediction? While Federer has had the edge over his rival this year, we fancy Nadal to win in straight sets.  

Roger Federer produces masterclass to beat Rafael Nadal and clinch Shanghai Masters title

Roger Federer’s fantasy season continued on Sunday as he beat Rafael Nadal in straight sets to lift the Shanghai Masters trophy. After the match, Federer was asked what had helped him win his last five meetings against his old nemesis. He smiled and replied “Not playing him on clay.” Sunday’s match was staged on one of the quicker courts in world tennis, which usually works to Federer’s advantage. He leapt out to an early lead, breaking Nadal in the opening game and then maintaining such a punishing rhythm that he dropped only eight points on his own serve throughout. “I played a great match today with hardly any mistakes," said Federer. "It was very clear for me how I had to play and I was able to do it for the one hour and 12 minutes that I was out there. I started perfectly and kept the pressure on.” The head-to-head between the two legends still stands comfortably in favour of Nadal, who has won 23 of their 38 meetings. Yet after his triumphant 2017, Federer now has the advantage on hard courts (11-9) and grass (2-1). It is only on the red clay of continental Europe that he has taken a beating, with 13 defeats and just two victories against the greatest clay specialist of this or any other age. With another month of the season still to go, Federer has already won six titles in 2017 from seven appearances in finals. His ruthlessness is not far short of the extraordinary period, running from July 2003 to Nov 2005, when he played 24 finals and won the lot. Federer’s victory means that the year-end No  1 ranking is not quite tied up after all. Nadal leads his old rival by almost 2,000 points, but you can collect 1,500 via a clean sweep at the Nitto ATP Finals at London’s O2 Arena. Federer is also entered into Basle (500 points) and Paris (1,000), although it would hardly be a surprise if he skipped the latter to make sure he arrives London in the best possible physical condition. "I am actually surprised that I have won here,” said Federer. “With all that has happened since Montreal with my back [which he tweaked in the final there against Alexander Zverev, thus impairing his preparations for the US Open] it is just nice to see that I am back again. "London is my priority now and I really want to win the World Tour Finals. I am very excited to have had the year that I have had and everything that comes from here is a bonus. Finishing the year as world No. 1 is a long shot, and I don't think it will happen. But if I play like this, who knows? Maybe I will get close again." Meanwhile Maria Sharapova has claimed her first WTA title since May 2015 – and her 36th in all – thanks to a hard-earned 7-5, 7-6 win over Aryna Sabalenka in the Tianjin final. Sharapova only beat one top-50 player on her way to the trophy – world No 25 Shuai Peng – but she herself will climb from just outside the top 100 to No 57 as a result of her success. #36 I will always remember you �� pic.twitter.com/GEczLqGRRd— Maria Sharapova (@MariaSharapova) October 15, 2017 Sharapova posted a tweet after her victory. It depicted her holding up the Tianjin trophy in front of a group of fans, and came accompanied by the words “#36 I will always remember you”. She will now continue to her home nation of Russia for the Kremlin Cup in Moscow, where she has been drawn to face Wimbledon semi-finalist Magdalena Rybarikova in the opening round. It has been a strange season for Sharapova, who only returned from her doping ban in Stuttgart in April, and then had her comeback further interrupted by injuries to her thigh and later her left forearm. But this result does at least mean that she can look forward to 2018 with some confidence. 11:24AM Federer on how he's beaten Nadal five times in a row Not playing so much on clay! That's helpful, to avoid the entire claycourt season. With the bigger racket head sizes, I'm not slicing as much. I'm staying on the baseline, dictating points. My heads screwed on the right way as I haven't had to get it round any losses on clay too. Federer on the No 1 ranking... I'm not thinking about it. I just try to be healthy now. 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 (the No 1 spot). 11:16AM Federer takes to the mic I wasn't here last year because of injuries so it's nice to be back here. A stadium that I opened myself a few years ago. It's nice to share this court with you (Rafa) today and hopefully we've got more to come. "It's been a pleasure to share the court with you again today"@RogerFederer + @RafaelNadal = friendship goals#SHRolexMasterspic.twitter.com/5xUHRMiuga— Tennis TV (@TennisTV) October 15, 2017   11:10AM Here comes Rafa Nadal speaks I want to congratulate Roger for a great year. Today you played a fantastic match. This year for him has been my most successful year in China. It's been a great two weeks, I feel very happy for what has happened for me.  11:07AM Federer receives his trophy Federer receives a small bunch of flowers, a trophy and a Rolex watch from organisers during a lengthy presentation ceremony. Then they'll be a lengthy photo session before we can hear from today's champion.  11:02AM Federer clocking up the titles Victory today is Federer's 27th Masters 1000 title. It also means he stays in the hunt for the world No 1 ranking this season. Nadal remains in top spot and 1,940 points clear. But Federer could close on the Spaniard by playing and winning in Basel and Paris where there are 1,500pts at stake. What are the chances that the No 1 spot is on the line at the World Tour Finals in London? More history made.@RogerFederer beats Rafa Nadal for the 5th consecutive time to win 27th Masters 1000 title!#SHRolexMasterspic.twitter.com/kfcFegJXxU— Tennis TV (@TennisTV) October 15, 2017   10:57AM Federer* 6-4, 6-3 Nadal (*denotes next server) Nadal serving to stay in the championships now but Federer rushes the Spaniard by moving him up and down the baseline and then pulling the trigger. The Spaniard doesn't help his own cause by dumping a regulation backhand long and then slaps into the net with an overhead smash. Federer races to three championship points. Nadal saves the first by executing a volley. But he can't save the next and Federer continues his superiority over Nadal this year. That's his fourth of 2017 and his fifth overall. FEDERER WINS SHANGHAI MASTERS WITH STRAIGHT SETS WIN OVER NADAL. Federer celebrates his fifth straight win over Nadal Credit: Reuters   10:54AM Federer 6-4, 5-3 Nadal* (*denotes next server) A brief hold up to the start of the game as two officials take their seats don't disrupt Federer's flow as he sends down another ace. Even when Nadal does get his racket head on a return, he's still standing so far back that he has to cover a lot of room to get the ball back. At three-game points, Federer's mind goes a wandering as he cranks a return at the net well long. It's the only blot on his service book this game. 10:50AM Federer* 6-4, 4-3 Nadal (*denotes next server) Just over an hour played now and Nadal remains at a loss as to how to turn this match around. The Spaniard is on a 16-match winning streak heading into this final but Federer just has the beating of his great rival these days, especially on the hard courts. Federer keeps getting everything back at Nadal, drawing back to 40-30 but the world No 1 executes a drop shot for game.  10:46AM Federer 6-4, 4-2 Nadal* (*denotes next server) Nadal coming in for criticism from co-commentator Peter Fleming for not changing up his tactics and moving 'out of his comfort zone' as Federer motors through another service game. He races to three game points and cements the break with a love game.  10:43AM Federer* 6-4, 3-2 Nadal (*denotes next server) Federer strikes a beautiful backhand winner into the opposite corner for 15-30, but can't back it up as Nadal's forehand catches the Swiss out mid-court with Federer charging to the net.  Nadal shows a good response to edge to game point but Federer uses his trusty backhand wing again to punch a winner inside the line for deuce. Nadal has time to execute a backhand, but slaps into the net and the crowd crank up the volume as Federer has break point, the first of the second set. A mighty first serve saves the danger. But Federer won't give up, nipping into the net and executing a deft drop shot. Federer targets Nadal's backhand during the next tally rally and finally draws the error from that wing. He's made the breakthrough. FEDERER BREAKS. Nadal is broken in the second set Credit: Reuters   10:36AM Federer 6-4, 2-2 Nadal* (*denotes next server) Federer covers the net well to block any passing attempt from Nadal and forces the Spaniard to go long. Nadal goes for broke on one Federer serve, moving early shaping for a forehand reply, only for Federer to go down the middle. Nadal senses an opening at 30-all, but Federer stops the Spaniard getting ahead of himself with a backhand smash into the corner. Nadal loops the next serve wide but showed decent pressure during the game. 10:32AM Federer* 6-4, 1-2 Nadal (*denotes next server) Solid hold to love for Nadal. He needed that. He retreats to his chair trying to think of a plan to test Federer when they come out again.  10:29AM Federer 6-4, 1-1 Nadal* (*denotes next server) Nadal standing so far back now to receive Federer's serves and the Swiss takes note of this, rushing the net to serve-volley through to three game points. Nadal gets a point on the board, but they are few and far between on Fed's serve today.  10:27AM Federer* 6-4, 0-1 Nadal (*denotes next server) Wow. Federer starts the second as he left the first set, fizzing an unstoppable forehand down the line. But wait, a glimmer of hope now for Nadal as he pushes long on a couple of returns for game point. Federer, calm as you like swings and makes a service return to stay in the game but then can't get under a nippy forehand return from Nadal close to the baseline. 10:20AM Federer 6-4 Nadal* (*denotes next server) Federer bamboozles Nadal again, pushing him into the corner and then unleashing a dazzling forehand into the opposite one. Federer's precision has been superb as he races to three set points. An ace down the T secures him the set. FEDERER WINS THE FIRST SET.  10:17AM Federer* 5-4 Nadal (*denotes next server) A mishit from Nadal sees a forehand return change into a top-spin dropshot that lands short of Federer and is the slice of luck Nadal has been crying out for this final. It's a comfortable hold and his first to love. He'll make Federer serve for the first set.  10:14AM Federer 5-3 Nadal* (*denotes next server) Federer has never beaten Nadal five matches in a row, but currently he's on track to record that milestone. The Swiss is giving Nadal the run around on the baseline and the Spaniard is limited to the odd point here and there on Federer's serve.  10:10AM Federer* 4-3 Nadal (*denotes next server) This is a pure masterclass from Federer and Nadal has to rely on the odd error or two from the world No 2. Nadal stays toe-to-toe with Federer during another baseline slug and draws a mistake from Federer on his forehand wing. He's digging deep to try and keep in touch out there. Nadal serves against Federer Credit: AP   10:06AM Federer 4-2 Nadal* (*denotes next server) Former Chelsea striker Oscar is courtside as Federer eases through his service gears. Three straight aces move him to three game points. A fourth ace completes a perfect game in 50 seconds. Boom. 10:03AM Federer* 3-2 Nadal (*denotes next server) Nadal is being rushed to make his groundstrokes and is struggling to find the lines when put under such pressure. A couple of returns to the net move Nadal to two game points, but the Spaniard slaps his own backhand into the tape. No worries, an ace draws him closer to his great rival. 10:00AM Federer 3-1 Nadal* (*denotes next server) Both players showing indications they want to charge the net where possible to cut short the points. When a rally ensues, Federer has the upper hand, executing the angles and striking the winners. Federer throws in his first wayward shot of the final so far at game point by pushing a forehand long. Again, it's only a short delay as he secures another comfortable service hold. 9:55AM Federer* 2-1 Nadal (*denotes next server) Nadal looks to be shaping up to shake off that early service break when Federer whips a forehand winner across court which unnerves the Spaniard again. From the comfort of 30-0 up, Nadal strikes long to bring Federer level. A body serve catches Federer out and Nadal manages to stop the Swiss' momentum for the time being.  9:52AM Federer 2-0 Nadal* (*denotes next server) Federer is all over anything short coming back at him and causing Nadal all sorts of problems early into the final. He races to 40-15 with his first ace and then looks to have wrapped up the game with another ace, this time out wide, before a line judge calls for a second serve. It only holds him up by 10 seconds, mind. 9:49AM Federer* 1-0 Nadal (*denotes next server) Nadal serves first under the roof. The Spaniard scampers across and makes a zipping service return from Federer, but the Swiss catches his reply sweetly to send Nadal moving in the other direction but out of reach. A couple of dragged backhands into the tramlines hand Federer an early break at 15-40 against the stubble-wearing Federer. Nadal denies his rivalry of the first by stepping into a forehand and brings up deuce with a first ace. Federer sustains the pressure during the next rally, showing great aggressive to force a third break point. This time he takes it by flashing a crisp backhand winner past a net-charging Nadal. FEDERER BREAKS. 9:43AM Sharapova is a winner While Federer and Nadal finish their warm ups there's just time to say that Maria Sharapova has clinched her first WTA title since returning from a drugs ban after beating Aryna Sabalenka to win the Tianjin Open. The five-time grand slam champion overcame Belarusian teenager Sabalenka 7-5 7-6 (10/8). Maria Sharapova ������ (��@WTA) pic.twitter.com/vx6YLFU5Nh— doublefault28 (@doublefault28) October 15, 2017 9:37AM The roof has been closed Organisers have opted against any delays or holds up due to rain by closing the roof for the final. It has been raining heavily in Shanghai earlier today so it's probably the best call even though it's likely to favour Federer.  Both players are out on court, under the lights in Shanghai. Nadal dressed in all blue, Federer in white T-shirt and navy shorts.  9:34AM Can Nadal cement year end No 1 ranking? Victory for Nadal could all but secure the Spaniard of ending the year as the world No 1 for the fourth time.  A win today would extend Nadal's lead over Federer to 2,760 points in the rankings. Nadal hasn't finished the season as top dog since 2013. 9:18AM Back to normality Federer and Nadal resume duties across the net this morning for the fourth time this year. The last time these two giants of the sport were both on court, they were team-mates and jumping on each other's backs in the inaugural Laver Cup in Prague last month. In fact, the tennis world stopped for 81 months to watch Federer and Nadal team up in the doubles for the first time in their careers. While accusations were flying around after the tournament that this was merely a glorified exhibition at best, Federer and Nadal will both have their game faces on as their rivalry returns today. Federer and Nadal teamed up in the doubles at the Laver Cup Credit: Getty Images Federer has won the last four meetings between these two, three of which have been contested this year. You have to go back to the Australian Open in 2014 for Nadal's last win over the Swiss when he won their last four clash in straight sets to reach the final in Melbourne. 9:14AM Federer vs Nadal preview What is it? It's only the 38th encounter between Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal at the Shanghai Masters final. When is it? Today, this morning on Sunday, October 15. What time does it start? Around 9.30BST. What TV channel is it on? It's on Sky Sports Main Event channel from 9.30am. Alternatively, you can follow game-by-game latest with our rolling blog. Bookmark this page and come back in a little while. The 20 greatest tennis players of Open era How did both men reach the final? World No 1 and top seed in Shanghai, Nadal beat Croatia's Marin Cilic 7-5, 7-6 (3) in the first semi-final. Nadal is currently on a 16-match winning streak after lifting the China Open trophy last weekend. Second seed in China, Federer was stretched to three sets before posting a 3-6, 6-3, 6-3 win over Juan Martin del Potro. Federer, looking for his sixth title this year, won the Australian Open and Wimbledon this year to increase his Grand Slam men's singles record to 19 titles. What's their head-to-head record? Nadal holds a commanding 23-14 winning record over Federer, but Federer has won their last four meetings, including all three this season.  What's our prediction? While Federer has had the edge over his rival this year, we fancy Nadal to win in straight sets.  

Roger Federer produces masterclass to beat Rafael Nadal and clinch Shanghai Masters title

Roger Federer’s fantasy season continued on Sunday as he beat Rafael Nadal in straight sets to lift the Shanghai Masters trophy. After the match, Federer was asked what had helped him win his last five meetings against his old nemesis. He smiled and replied “Not playing him on clay.” Sunday’s match was staged on one of the quicker courts in world tennis, which usually works to Federer’s advantage. He leapt out to an early lead, breaking Nadal in the opening game and then maintaining such a punishing rhythm that he dropped only eight points on his own serve throughout. “I played a great match today with hardly any mistakes," said Federer. "It was very clear for me how I had to play and I was able to do it for the one hour and 12 minutes that I was out there. I started perfectly and kept the pressure on.” The head-to-head between the two legends still stands comfortably in favour of Nadal, who has won 23 of their 38 meetings. Yet after his triumphant 2017, Federer now has the advantage on hard courts (11-9) and grass (2-1). It is only on the red clay of continental Europe that he has taken a beating, with 13 defeats and just two victories against the greatest clay specialist of this or any other age. With another month of the season still to go, Federer has already won six titles in 2017 from seven appearances in finals. His ruthlessness is not far short of the extraordinary period, running from July 2003 to Nov 2005, when he played 24 finals and won the lot. Federer’s victory means that the year-end No  1 ranking is not quite tied up after all. Nadal leads his old rival by almost 2,000 points, but you can collect 1,500 via a clean sweep at the Nitto ATP Finals at London’s O2 Arena. Federer is also entered into Basle (500 points) and Paris (1,000), although it would hardly be a surprise if he skipped the latter to make sure he arrives London in the best possible physical condition. "I am actually surprised that I have won here,” said Federer. “With all that has happened since Montreal with my back [which he tweaked in the final there against Alexander Zverev, thus impairing his preparations for the US Open] it is just nice to see that I am back again. "London is my priority now and I really want to win the World Tour Finals. I am very excited to have had the year that I have had and everything that comes from here is a bonus. Finishing the year as world No. 1 is a long shot, and I don't think it will happen. But if I play like this, who knows? Maybe I will get close again." Meanwhile Maria Sharapova has claimed her first WTA title since May 2015 – and her 36th in all – thanks to a hard-earned 7-5, 7-6 win over Aryna Sabalenka in the Tianjin final. Sharapova only beat one top-50 player on her way to the trophy – world No 25 Shuai Peng – but she herself will climb from just outside the top 100 to No 57 as a result of her success. #36 I will always remember you �� pic.twitter.com/GEczLqGRRd— Maria Sharapova (@MariaSharapova) October 15, 2017 Sharapova posted a tweet after her victory. It depicted her holding up the Tianjin trophy in front of a group of fans, and came accompanied by the words “#36 I will always remember you”. She will now continue to her home nation of Russia for the Kremlin Cup in Moscow, where she has been drawn to face Wimbledon semi-finalist Magdalena Rybarikova in the opening round. It has been a strange season for Sharapova, who only returned from her doping ban in Stuttgart in April, and then had her comeback further interrupted by injuries to her thigh and later her left forearm. But this result does at least mean that she can look forward to 2018 with some confidence. 11:24AM Federer on how he's beaten Nadal five times in a row Not playing so much on clay! That's helpful, to avoid the entire claycourt season. With the bigger racket head sizes, I'm not slicing as much. I'm staying on the baseline, dictating points. My heads screwed on the right way as I haven't had to get it round any losses on clay too. Federer on the No 1 ranking... I'm not thinking about it. I just try to be healthy now. 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 (the No 1 spot). 11:16AM Federer takes to the mic I wasn't here last year because of injuries so it's nice to be back here. A stadium that I opened myself a few years ago. It's nice to share this court with you (Rafa) today and hopefully we've got more to come. "It's been a pleasure to share the court with you again today"@RogerFederer + @RafaelNadal = friendship goals#SHRolexMasterspic.twitter.com/5xUHRMiuga— Tennis TV (@TennisTV) October 15, 2017   11:10AM Here comes Rafa Nadal speaks I want to congratulate Roger for a great year. Today you played a fantastic match. This year for him has been my most successful year in China. It's been a great two weeks, I feel very happy for what has happened for me.  11:07AM Federer receives his trophy Federer receives a small bunch of flowers, a trophy and a Rolex watch from organisers during a lengthy presentation ceremony. Then they'll be a lengthy photo session before we can hear from today's champion.  11:02AM Federer clocking up the titles Victory today is Federer's 27th Masters 1000 title. It also means he stays in the hunt for the world No 1 ranking this season. Nadal remains in top spot and 1,940 points clear. But Federer could close on the Spaniard by playing and winning in Basel and Paris where there are 1,500pts at stake. What are the chances that the No 1 spot is on the line at the World Tour Finals in London? More history made.@RogerFederer beats Rafa Nadal for the 5th consecutive time to win 27th Masters 1000 title!#SHRolexMasterspic.twitter.com/kfcFegJXxU— Tennis TV (@TennisTV) October 15, 2017   10:57AM Federer* 6-4, 6-3 Nadal (*denotes next server) Nadal serving to stay in the championships now but Federer rushes the Spaniard by moving him up and down the baseline and then pulling the trigger. The Spaniard doesn't help his own cause by dumping a regulation backhand long and then slaps into the net with an overhead smash. Federer races to three championship points. Nadal saves the first by executing a volley. But he can't save the next and Federer continues his superiority over Nadal this year. That's his fourth of 2017 and his fifth overall. FEDERER WINS SHANGHAI MASTERS WITH STRAIGHT SETS WIN OVER NADAL. Federer celebrates his fifth straight win over Nadal Credit: Reuters   10:54AM Federer 6-4, 5-3 Nadal* (*denotes next server) A brief hold up to the start of the game as two officials take their seats don't disrupt Federer's flow as he sends down another ace. Even when Nadal does get his racket head on a return, he's still standing so far back that he has to cover a lot of room to get the ball back. At three-game points, Federer's mind goes a wandering as he cranks a return at the net well long. It's the only blot on his service book this game. 10:50AM Federer* 6-4, 4-3 Nadal (*denotes next server) Just over an hour played now and Nadal remains at a loss as to how to turn this match around. The Spaniard is on a 16-match winning streak heading into this final but Federer just has the beating of his great rival these days, especially on the hard courts. Federer keeps getting everything back at Nadal, drawing back to 40-30 but the world No 1 executes a drop shot for game.  10:46AM Federer 6-4, 4-2 Nadal* (*denotes next server) Nadal coming in for criticism from co-commentator Peter Fleming for not changing up his tactics and moving 'out of his comfort zone' as Federer motors through another service game. He races to three game points and cements the break with a love game.  10:43AM Federer* 6-4, 3-2 Nadal (*denotes next server) Federer strikes a beautiful backhand winner into the opposite corner for 15-30, but can't back it up as Nadal's forehand catches the Swiss out mid-court with Federer charging to the net.  Nadal shows a good response to edge to game point but Federer uses his trusty backhand wing again to punch a winner inside the line for deuce. Nadal has time to execute a backhand, but slaps into the net and the crowd crank up the volume as Federer has break point, the first of the second set. A mighty first serve saves the danger. But Federer won't give up, nipping into the net and executing a deft drop shot. Federer targets Nadal's backhand during the next tally rally and finally draws the error from that wing. He's made the breakthrough. FEDERER BREAKS. Nadal is broken in the second set Credit: Reuters   10:36AM Federer 6-4, 2-2 Nadal* (*denotes next server) Federer covers the net well to block any passing attempt from Nadal and forces the Spaniard to go long. Nadal goes for broke on one Federer serve, moving early shaping for a forehand reply, only for Federer to go down the middle. Nadal senses an opening at 30-all, but Federer stops the Spaniard getting ahead of himself with a backhand smash into the corner. Nadal loops the next serve wide but showed decent pressure during the game. 10:32AM Federer* 6-4, 1-2 Nadal (*denotes next server) Solid hold to love for Nadal. He needed that. He retreats to his chair trying to think of a plan to test Federer when they come out again.  10:29AM Federer 6-4, 1-1 Nadal* (*denotes next server) Nadal standing so far back now to receive Federer's serves and the Swiss takes note of this, rushing the net to serve-volley through to three game points. Nadal gets a point on the board, but they are few and far between on Fed's serve today.  10:27AM Federer* 6-4, 0-1 Nadal (*denotes next server) Wow. Federer starts the second as he left the first set, fizzing an unstoppable forehand down the line. But wait, a glimmer of hope now for Nadal as he pushes long on a couple of returns for game point. Federer, calm as you like swings and makes a service return to stay in the game but then can't get under a nippy forehand return from Nadal close to the baseline. 10:20AM Federer 6-4 Nadal* (*denotes next server) Federer bamboozles Nadal again, pushing him into the corner and then unleashing a dazzling forehand into the opposite one. Federer's precision has been superb as he races to three set points. An ace down the T secures him the set. FEDERER WINS THE FIRST SET.  10:17AM Federer* 5-4 Nadal (*denotes next server) A mishit from Nadal sees a forehand return change into a top-spin dropshot that lands short of Federer and is the slice of luck Nadal has been crying out for this final. It's a comfortable hold and his first to love. He'll make Federer serve for the first set.  10:14AM Federer 5-3 Nadal* (*denotes next server) Federer has never beaten Nadal five matches in a row, but currently he's on track to record that milestone. The Swiss is giving Nadal the run around on the baseline and the Spaniard is limited to the odd point here and there on Federer's serve.  10:10AM Federer* 4-3 Nadal (*denotes next server) This is a pure masterclass from Federer and Nadal has to rely on the odd error or two from the world No 2. Nadal stays toe-to-toe with Federer during another baseline slug and draws a mistake from Federer on his forehand wing. He's digging deep to try and keep in touch out there. Nadal serves against Federer Credit: AP   10:06AM Federer 4-2 Nadal* (*denotes next server) Former Chelsea striker Oscar is courtside as Federer eases through his service gears. Three straight aces move him to three game points. A fourth ace completes a perfect game in 50 seconds. Boom. 10:03AM Federer* 3-2 Nadal (*denotes next server) Nadal is being rushed to make his groundstrokes and is struggling to find the lines when put under such pressure. A couple of returns to the net move Nadal to two game points, but the Spaniard slaps his own backhand into the tape. No worries, an ace draws him closer to his great rival. 10:00AM Federer 3-1 Nadal* (*denotes next server) Both players showing indications they want to charge the net where possible to cut short the points. When a rally ensues, Federer has the upper hand, executing the angles and striking the winners. Federer throws in his first wayward shot of the final so far at game point by pushing a forehand long. Again, it's only a short delay as he secures another comfortable service hold. 9:55AM Federer* 2-1 Nadal (*denotes next server) Nadal looks to be shaping up to shake off that early service break when Federer whips a forehand winner across court which unnerves the Spaniard again. From the comfort of 30-0 up, Nadal strikes long to bring Federer level. A body serve catches Federer out and Nadal manages to stop the Swiss' momentum for the time being.  9:52AM Federer 2-0 Nadal* (*denotes next server) Federer is all over anything short coming back at him and causing Nadal all sorts of problems early into the final. He races to 40-15 with his first ace and then looks to have wrapped up the game with another ace, this time out wide, before a line judge calls for a second serve. It only holds him up by 10 seconds, mind. 9:49AM Federer* 1-0 Nadal (*denotes next server) Nadal serves first under the roof. The Spaniard scampers across and makes a zipping service return from Federer, but the Swiss catches his reply sweetly to send Nadal moving in the other direction but out of reach. A couple of dragged backhands into the tramlines hand Federer an early break at 15-40 against the stubble-wearing Federer. Nadal denies his rivalry of the first by stepping into a forehand and brings up deuce with a first ace. Federer sustains the pressure during the next rally, showing great aggressive to force a third break point. This time he takes it by flashing a crisp backhand winner past a net-charging Nadal. FEDERER BREAKS. 9:43AM Sharapova is a winner While Federer and Nadal finish their warm ups there's just time to say that Maria Sharapova has clinched her first WTA title since returning from a drugs ban after beating Aryna Sabalenka to win the Tianjin Open. The five-time grand slam champion overcame Belarusian teenager Sabalenka 7-5 7-6 (10/8). Maria Sharapova ������ (��@WTA) pic.twitter.com/vx6YLFU5Nh— doublefault28 (@doublefault28) October 15, 2017 9:37AM The roof has been closed Organisers have opted against any delays or holds up due to rain by closing the roof for the final. It has been raining heavily in Shanghai earlier today so it's probably the best call even though it's likely to favour Federer.  Both players are out on court, under the lights in Shanghai. Nadal dressed in all blue, Federer in white T-shirt and navy shorts.  9:34AM Can Nadal cement year end No 1 ranking? Victory for Nadal could all but secure the Spaniard of ending the year as the world No 1 for the fourth time.  A win today would extend Nadal's lead over Federer to 2,760 points in the rankings. Nadal hasn't finished the season as top dog since 2013. 9:18AM Back to normality Federer and Nadal resume duties across the net this morning for the fourth time this year. The last time these two giants of the sport were both on court, they were team-mates and jumping on each other's backs in the inaugural Laver Cup in Prague last month. In fact, the tennis world stopped for 81 months to watch Federer and Nadal team up in the doubles for the first time in their careers. While accusations were flying around after the tournament that this was merely a glorified exhibition at best, Federer and Nadal will both have their game faces on as their rivalry returns today. Federer and Nadal teamed up in the doubles at the Laver Cup Credit: Getty Images Federer has won the last four meetings between these two, three of which have been contested this year. You have to go back to the Australian Open in 2014 for Nadal's last win over the Swiss when he won their last four clash in straight sets to reach the final in Melbourne. 9:14AM Federer vs Nadal preview What is it? It's only the 38th encounter between Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal at the Shanghai Masters final. When is it? Today, this morning on Sunday, October 15. What time does it start? Around 9.30BST. What TV channel is it on? It's on Sky Sports Main Event channel from 9.30am. Alternatively, you can follow game-by-game latest with our rolling blog. Bookmark this page and come back in a little while. The 20 greatest tennis players of Open era How did both men reach the final? World No 1 and top seed in Shanghai, Nadal beat Croatia's Marin Cilic 7-5, 7-6 (3) in the first semi-final. Nadal is currently on a 16-match winning streak after lifting the China Open trophy last weekend. Second seed in China, Federer was stretched to three sets before posting a 3-6, 6-3, 6-3 win over Juan Martin del Potro. Federer, looking for his sixth title this year, won the Australian Open and Wimbledon this year to increase his Grand Slam men's singles record to 19 titles. What's their head-to-head record? Nadal holds a commanding 23-14 winning record over Federer, but Federer has won their last four meetings, including all three this season.  What's our prediction? While Federer has had the edge over his rival this year, we fancy Nadal to win in straight sets.  

Roger Federer produces masterclass to beat Rafael Nadal and clinch Shanghai Masters title

Roger Federer’s fantasy season continued on Sunday as he beat Rafael Nadal in straight sets to lift the Shanghai Masters trophy. After the match, Federer was asked what had helped him win his last five meetings against his old nemesis. He smiled and replied “Not playing him on clay.” Sunday’s match was staged on one of the quicker courts in world tennis, which usually works to Federer’s advantage. He leapt out to an early lead, breaking Nadal in the opening game and then maintaining such a punishing rhythm that he dropped only eight points on his own serve throughout. “I played a great match today with hardly any mistakes," said Federer. "It was very clear for me how I had to play and I was able to do it for the one hour and 12 minutes that I was out there. I started perfectly and kept the pressure on.” The head-to-head between the two legends still stands comfortably in favour of Nadal, who has won 23 of their 38 meetings. Yet after his triumphant 2017, Federer now has the advantage on hard courts (11-9) and grass (2-1). It is only on the red clay of continental Europe that he has taken a beating, with 13 defeats and just two victories against the greatest clay specialist of this or any other age. With another month of the season still to go, Federer has already won six titles in 2017 from seven appearances in finals. His ruthlessness is not far short of the extraordinary period, running from July 2003 to Nov 2005, when he played 24 finals and won the lot. Federer’s victory means that the year-end No  1 ranking is not quite tied up after all. Nadal leads his old rival by almost 2,000 points, but you can collect 1,500 via a clean sweep at the Nitto ATP Finals at London’s O2 Arena. Federer is also entered into Basle (500 points) and Paris (1,000), although it would hardly be a surprise if he skipped the latter to make sure he arrives London in the best possible physical condition. "I am actually surprised that I have won here,” said Federer. “With all that has happened since Montreal with my back [which he tweaked in the final there against Alexander Zverev, thus impairing his preparations for the US Open] it is just nice to see that I am back again. "London is my priority now and I really want to win the World Tour Finals. I am very excited to have had the year that I have had and everything that comes from here is a bonus. Finishing the year as world No. 1 is a long shot, and I don't think it will happen. But if I play like this, who knows? Maybe I will get close again." Meanwhile Maria Sharapova has claimed her first WTA title since May 2015 – and her 36th in all – thanks to a hard-earned 7-5, 7-6 win over Aryna Sabalenka in the Tianjin final. Sharapova only beat one top-50 player on her way to the trophy – world No 25 Shuai Peng – but she herself will climb from just outside the top 100 to No 57 as a result of her success. #36 I will always remember you �� pic.twitter.com/GEczLqGRRd— Maria Sharapova (@MariaSharapova) October 15, 2017 Sharapova posted a tweet after her victory. It depicted her holding up the Tianjin trophy in front of a group of fans, and came accompanied by the words “#36 I will always remember you”. She will now continue to her home nation of Russia for the Kremlin Cup in Moscow, where she has been drawn to face Wimbledon semi-finalist Magdalena Rybarikova in the opening round. It has been a strange season for Sharapova, who only returned from her doping ban in Stuttgart in April, and then had her comeback further interrupted by injuries to her thigh and later her left forearm. But this result does at least mean that she can look forward to 2018 with some confidence. 11:24AM Federer on how he's beaten Nadal five times in a row Not playing so much on clay! That's helpful, to avoid the entire claycourt season. With the bigger racket head sizes, I'm not slicing as much. I'm staying on the baseline, dictating points. My heads screwed on the right way as I haven't had to get it round any losses on clay too. Federer on the No 1 ranking... I'm not thinking about it. I just try to be healthy now. 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 (the No 1 spot). 11:16AM Federer takes to the mic I wasn't here last year because of injuries so it's nice to be back here. A stadium that I opened myself a few years ago. It's nice to share this court with you (Rafa) today and hopefully we've got more to come. "It's been a pleasure to share the court with you again today"@RogerFederer + @RafaelNadal = friendship goals#SHRolexMasterspic.twitter.com/5xUHRMiuga— Tennis TV (@TennisTV) October 15, 2017   11:10AM Here comes Rafa Nadal speaks I want to congratulate Roger for a great year. Today you played a fantastic match. This year for him has been my most successful year in China. It's been a great two weeks, I feel very happy for what has happened for me.  11:07AM Federer receives his trophy Federer receives a small bunch of flowers, a trophy and a Rolex watch from organisers during a lengthy presentation ceremony. Then they'll be a lengthy photo session before we can hear from today's champion.  11:02AM Federer clocking up the titles Victory today is Federer's 27th Masters 1000 title. It also means he stays in the hunt for the world No 1 ranking this season. Nadal remains in top spot and 1,940 points clear. But Federer could close on the Spaniard by playing and winning in Basel and Paris where there are 1,500pts at stake. What are the chances that the No 1 spot is on the line at the World Tour Finals in London? More history made.@RogerFederer beats Rafa Nadal for the 5th consecutive time to win 27th Masters 1000 title!#SHRolexMasterspic.twitter.com/kfcFegJXxU— Tennis TV (@TennisTV) October 15, 2017   10:57AM Federer* 6-4, 6-3 Nadal (*denotes next server) Nadal serving to stay in the championships now but Federer rushes the Spaniard by moving him up and down the baseline and then pulling the trigger. The Spaniard doesn't help his own cause by dumping a regulation backhand long and then slaps into the net with an overhead smash. Federer races to three championship points. Nadal saves the first by executing a volley. But he can't save the next and Federer continues his superiority over Nadal this year. That's his fourth of 2017 and his fifth overall. FEDERER WINS SHANGHAI MASTERS WITH STRAIGHT SETS WIN OVER NADAL. Federer celebrates his fifth straight win over Nadal Credit: Reuters   10:54AM Federer 6-4, 5-3 Nadal* (*denotes next server) A brief hold up to the start of the game as two officials take their seats don't disrupt Federer's flow as he sends down another ace. Even when Nadal does get his racket head on a return, he's still standing so far back that he has to cover a lot of room to get the ball back. At three-game points, Federer's mind goes a wandering as he cranks a return at the net well long. It's the only blot on his service book this game. 10:50AM Federer* 6-4, 4-3 Nadal (*denotes next server) Just over an hour played now and Nadal remains at a loss as to how to turn this match around. The Spaniard is on a 16-match winning streak heading into this final but Federer just has the beating of his great rival these days, especially on the hard courts. Federer keeps getting everything back at Nadal, drawing back to 40-30 but the world No 1 executes a drop shot for game.  10:46AM Federer 6-4, 4-2 Nadal* (*denotes next server) Nadal coming in for criticism from co-commentator Peter Fleming for not changing up his tactics and moving 'out of his comfort zone' as Federer motors through another service game. He races to three game points and cements the break with a love game.  10:43AM Federer* 6-4, 3-2 Nadal (*denotes next server) Federer strikes a beautiful backhand winner into the opposite corner for 15-30, but can't back it up as Nadal's forehand catches the Swiss out mid-court with Federer charging to the net.  Nadal shows a good response to edge to game point but Federer uses his trusty backhand wing again to punch a winner inside the line for deuce. Nadal has time to execute a backhand, but slaps into the net and the crowd crank up the volume as Federer has break point, the first of the second set. A mighty first serve saves the danger. But Federer won't give up, nipping into the net and executing a deft drop shot. Federer targets Nadal's backhand during the next tally rally and finally draws the error from that wing. He's made the breakthrough. FEDERER BREAKS. Nadal is broken in the second set Credit: Reuters   10:36AM Federer 6-4, 2-2 Nadal* (*denotes next server) Federer covers the net well to block any passing attempt from Nadal and forces the Spaniard to go long. Nadal goes for broke on one Federer serve, moving early shaping for a forehand reply, only for Federer to go down the middle. Nadal senses an opening at 30-all, but Federer stops the Spaniard getting ahead of himself with a backhand smash into the corner. Nadal loops the next serve wide but showed decent pressure during the game. 10:32AM Federer* 6-4, 1-2 Nadal (*denotes next server) Solid hold to love for Nadal. He needed that. He retreats to his chair trying to think of a plan to test Federer when they come out again.  10:29AM Federer 6-4, 1-1 Nadal* (*denotes next server) Nadal standing so far back now to receive Federer's serves and the Swiss takes note of this, rushing the net to serve-volley through to three game points. Nadal gets a point on the board, but they are few and far between on Fed's serve today.  10:27AM Federer* 6-4, 0-1 Nadal (*denotes next server) Wow. Federer starts the second as he left the first set, fizzing an unstoppable forehand down the line. But wait, a glimmer of hope now for Nadal as he pushes long on a couple of returns for game point. Federer, calm as you like swings and makes a service return to stay in the game but then can't get under a nippy forehand return from Nadal close to the baseline. 10:20AM Federer 6-4 Nadal* (*denotes next server) Federer bamboozles Nadal again, pushing him into the corner and then unleashing a dazzling forehand into the opposite one. Federer's precision has been superb as he races to three set points. An ace down the T secures him the set. FEDERER WINS THE FIRST SET.  10:17AM Federer* 5-4 Nadal (*denotes next server) A mishit from Nadal sees a forehand return change into a top-spin dropshot that lands short of Federer and is the slice of luck Nadal has been crying out for this final. It's a comfortable hold and his first to love. He'll make Federer serve for the first set.  10:14AM Federer 5-3 Nadal* (*denotes next server) Federer has never beaten Nadal five matches in a row, but currently he's on track to record that milestone. The Swiss is giving Nadal the run around on the baseline and the Spaniard is limited to the odd point here and there on Federer's serve.  10:10AM Federer* 4-3 Nadal (*denotes next server) This is a pure masterclass from Federer and Nadal has to rely on the odd error or two from the world No 2. Nadal stays toe-to-toe with Federer during another baseline slug and draws a mistake from Federer on his forehand wing. He's digging deep to try and keep in touch out there. Nadal serves against Federer Credit: AP   10:06AM Federer 4-2 Nadal* (*denotes next server) Former Chelsea striker Oscar is courtside as Federer eases through his service gears. Three straight aces move him to three game points. A fourth ace completes a perfect game in 50 seconds. Boom. 10:03AM Federer* 3-2 Nadal (*denotes next server) Nadal is being rushed to make his groundstrokes and is struggling to find the lines when put under such pressure. A couple of returns to the net move Nadal to two game points, but the Spaniard slaps his own backhand into the tape. No worries, an ace draws him closer to his great rival. 10:00AM Federer 3-1 Nadal* (*denotes next server) Both players showing indications they want to charge the net where possible to cut short the points. When a rally ensues, Federer has the upper hand, executing the angles and striking the winners. Federer throws in his first wayward shot of the final so far at game point by pushing a forehand long. Again, it's only a short delay as he secures another comfortable service hold. 9:55AM Federer* 2-1 Nadal (*denotes next server) Nadal looks to be shaping up to shake off that early service break when Federer whips a forehand winner across court which unnerves the Spaniard again. From the comfort of 30-0 up, Nadal strikes long to bring Federer level. A body serve catches Federer out and Nadal manages to stop the Swiss' momentum for the time being.  9:52AM Federer 2-0 Nadal* (*denotes next server) Federer is all over anything short coming back at him and causing Nadal all sorts of problems early into the final. He races to 40-15 with his first ace and then looks to have wrapped up the game with another ace, this time out wide, before a line judge calls for a second serve. It only holds him up by 10 seconds, mind. 9:49AM Federer* 1-0 Nadal (*denotes next server) Nadal serves first under the roof. The Spaniard scampers across and makes a zipping service return from Federer, but the Swiss catches his reply sweetly to send Nadal moving in the other direction but out of reach. A couple of dragged backhands into the tramlines hand Federer an early break at 15-40 against the stubble-wearing Federer. Nadal denies his rivalry of the first by stepping into a forehand and brings up deuce with a first ace. Federer sustains the pressure during the next rally, showing great aggressive to force a third break point. This time he takes it by flashing a crisp backhand winner past a net-charging Nadal. FEDERER BREAKS. 9:43AM Sharapova is a winner While Federer and Nadal finish their warm ups there's just time to say that Maria Sharapova has clinched her first WTA title since returning from a drugs ban after beating Aryna Sabalenka to win the Tianjin Open. The five-time grand slam champion overcame Belarusian teenager Sabalenka 7-5 7-6 (10/8). Maria Sharapova ������ (��@WTA) pic.twitter.com/vx6YLFU5Nh— doublefault28 (@doublefault28) October 15, 2017 9:37AM The roof has been closed Organisers have opted against any delays or holds up due to rain by closing the roof for the final. It has been raining heavily in Shanghai earlier today so it's probably the best call even though it's likely to favour Federer.  Both players are out on court, under the lights in Shanghai. Nadal dressed in all blue, Federer in white T-shirt and navy shorts.  9:34AM Can Nadal cement year end No 1 ranking? Victory for Nadal could all but secure the Spaniard of ending the year as the world No 1 for the fourth time.  A win today would extend Nadal's lead over Federer to 2,760 points in the rankings. Nadal hasn't finished the season as top dog since 2013. 9:18AM Back to normality Federer and Nadal resume duties across the net this morning for the fourth time this year. The last time these two giants of the sport were both on court, they were team-mates and jumping on each other's backs in the inaugural Laver Cup in Prague last month. In fact, the tennis world stopped for 81 months to watch Federer and Nadal team up in the doubles for the first time in their careers. While accusations were flying around after the tournament that this was merely a glorified exhibition at best, Federer and Nadal will both have their game faces on as their rivalry returns today. Federer and Nadal teamed up in the doubles at the Laver Cup Credit: Getty Images Federer has won the last four meetings between these two, three of which have been contested this year. You have to go back to the Australian Open in 2014 for Nadal's last win over the Swiss when he won their last four clash in straight sets to reach the final in Melbourne. 9:14AM Federer vs Nadal preview What is it? It's only the 38th encounter between Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal at the Shanghai Masters final. When is it? Today, this morning on Sunday, October 15. What time does it start? Around 9.30BST. What TV channel is it on? It's on Sky Sports Main Event channel from 9.30am. Alternatively, you can follow game-by-game latest with our rolling blog. Bookmark this page and come back in a little while. The 20 greatest tennis players of Open era How did both men reach the final? World No 1 and top seed in Shanghai, Nadal beat Croatia's Marin Cilic 7-5, 7-6 (3) in the first semi-final. Nadal is currently on a 16-match winning streak after lifting the China Open trophy last weekend. Second seed in China, Federer was stretched to three sets before posting a 3-6, 6-3, 6-3 win over Juan Martin del Potro. Federer, looking for his sixth title this year, won the Australian Open and Wimbledon this year to increase his Grand Slam men's singles record to 19 titles. What's their head-to-head record? Nadal holds a commanding 23-14 winning record over Federer, but Federer has won their last four meetings, including all three this season.  What's our prediction? While Federer has had the edge over his rival this year, we fancy Nadal to win in straight sets.  

Roger Federer produces masterclass to beat Rafael Nadal and clinch Shanghai Masters title

Roger Federer’s fantasy season continued on Sunday as he beat Rafael Nadal in straight sets to lift the Shanghai Masters trophy. After the match, Federer was asked what had helped him win his last five meetings against his old nemesis. He smiled and replied “Not playing him on clay.” Sunday’s match was staged on one of the quicker courts in world tennis, which usually works to Federer’s advantage. He leapt out to an early lead, breaking Nadal in the opening game and then maintaining such a punishing rhythm that he dropped only eight points on his own serve throughout. “I played a great match today with hardly any mistakes," said Federer. "It was very clear for me how I had to play and I was able to do it for the one hour and 12 minutes that I was out there. I started perfectly and kept the pressure on.” The head-to-head between the two legends still stands comfortably in favour of Nadal, who has won 23 of their 38 meetings. Yet after his triumphant 2017, Federer now has the advantage on hard courts (11-9) and grass (2-1). It is only on the red clay of continental Europe that he has taken a beating, with 13 defeats and just two victories against the greatest clay specialist of this or any other age. With another month of the season still to go, Federer has already won six titles in 2017 from seven appearances in finals. His ruthlessness is not far short of the extraordinary period, running from July 2003 to Nov 2005, when he played 24 finals and won the lot. Federer’s victory means that the year-end No  1 ranking is not quite tied up after all. Nadal leads his old rival by almost 2,000 points, but you can collect 1,500 via a clean sweep at the Nitto ATP Finals at London’s O2 Arena. Federer is also entered into Basle (500 points) and Paris (1,000), although it would hardly be a surprise if he skipped the latter to make sure he arrives London in the best possible physical condition. "I am actually surprised that I have won here,” said Federer. “With all that has happened since Montreal with my back [which he tweaked in the final there against Alexander Zverev, thus impairing his preparations for the US Open] it is just nice to see that I am back again. "London is my priority now and I really want to win the World Tour Finals. I am very excited to have had the year that I have had and everything that comes from here is a bonus. Finishing the year as world No. 1 is a long shot, and I don't think it will happen. But if I play like this, who knows? Maybe I will get close again." Meanwhile Maria Sharapova has claimed her first WTA title since May 2015 – and her 36th in all – thanks to a hard-earned 7-5, 7-6 win over Aryna Sabalenka in the Tianjin final. Sharapova only beat one top-50 player on her way to the trophy – world No 25 Shuai Peng – but she herself will climb from just outside the top 100 to No 57 as a result of her success. #36 I will always remember you �� pic.twitter.com/GEczLqGRRd— Maria Sharapova (@MariaSharapova) October 15, 2017 Sharapova posted a tweet after her victory. It depicted her holding up the Tianjin trophy in front of a group of fans, and came accompanied by the words “#36 I will always remember you”. She will now continue to her home nation of Russia for the Kremlin Cup in Moscow, where she has been drawn to face Wimbledon semi-finalist Magdalena Rybarikova in the opening round. It has been a strange season for Sharapova, who only returned from her doping ban in Stuttgart in April, and then had her comeback further interrupted by injuries to her thigh and later her left forearm. But this result does at least mean that she can look forward to 2018 with some confidence. 11:24AM Federer on how he's beaten Nadal five times in a row Not playing so much on clay! That's helpful, to avoid the entire claycourt season. With the bigger racket head sizes, I'm not slicing as much. I'm staying on the baseline, dictating points. My heads screwed on the right way as I haven't had to get it round any losses on clay too. Federer on the No 1 ranking... I'm not thinking about it. I just try to be healthy now. 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 (the No 1 spot). 11:16AM Federer takes to the mic I wasn't here last year because of injuries so it's nice to be back here. A stadium that I opened myself a few years ago. It's nice to share this court with you (Rafa) today and hopefully we've got more to come. "It's been a pleasure to share the court with you again today"@RogerFederer + @RafaelNadal = friendship goals#SHRolexMasterspic.twitter.com/5xUHRMiuga— Tennis TV (@TennisTV) October 15, 2017   11:10AM Here comes Rafa Nadal speaks I want to congratulate Roger for a great year. Today you played a fantastic match. This year for him has been my most successful year in China. It's been a great two weeks, I feel very happy for what has happened for me.  11:07AM Federer receives his trophy Federer receives a small bunch of flowers, a trophy and a Rolex watch from organisers during a lengthy presentation ceremony. Then they'll be a lengthy photo session before we can hear from today's champion.  11:02AM Federer clocking up the titles Victory today is Federer's 27th Masters 1000 title. It also means he stays in the hunt for the world No 1 ranking this season. Nadal remains in top spot and 1,940 points clear. But Federer could close on the Spaniard by playing and winning in Basel and Paris where there are 1,500pts at stake. What are the chances that the No 1 spot is on the line at the World Tour Finals in London? More history made.@RogerFederer beats Rafa Nadal for the 5th consecutive time to win 27th Masters 1000 title!#SHRolexMasterspic.twitter.com/kfcFegJXxU— Tennis TV (@TennisTV) October 15, 2017   10:57AM Federer* 6-4, 6-3 Nadal (*denotes next server) Nadal serving to stay in the championships now but Federer rushes the Spaniard by moving him up and down the baseline and then pulling the trigger. The Spaniard doesn't help his own cause by dumping a regulation backhand long and then slaps into the net with an overhead smash. Federer races to three championship points. Nadal saves the first by executing a volley. But he can't save the next and Federer continues his superiority over Nadal this year. That's his fourth of 2017 and his fifth overall. FEDERER WINS SHANGHAI MASTERS WITH STRAIGHT SETS WIN OVER NADAL. Federer celebrates his fifth straight win over Nadal Credit: Reuters   10:54AM Federer 6-4, 5-3 Nadal* (*denotes next server) A brief hold up to the start of the game as two officials take their seats don't disrupt Federer's flow as he sends down another ace. Even when Nadal does get his racket head on a return, he's still standing so far back that he has to cover a lot of room to get the ball back. At three-game points, Federer's mind goes a wandering as he cranks a return at the net well long. It's the only blot on his service book this game. 10:50AM Federer* 6-4, 4-3 Nadal (*denotes next server) Just over an hour played now and Nadal remains at a loss as to how to turn this match around. The Spaniard is on a 16-match winning streak heading into this final but Federer just has the beating of his great rival these days, especially on the hard courts. Federer keeps getting everything back at Nadal, drawing back to 40-30 but the world No 1 executes a drop shot for game.  10:46AM Federer 6-4, 4-2 Nadal* (*denotes next server) Nadal coming in for criticism from co-commentator Peter Fleming for not changing up his tactics and moving 'out of his comfort zone' as Federer motors through another service game. He races to three game points and cements the break with a love game.  10:43AM Federer* 6-4, 3-2 Nadal (*denotes next server) Federer strikes a beautiful backhand winner into the opposite corner for 15-30, but can't back it up as Nadal's forehand catches the Swiss out mid-court with Federer charging to the net.  Nadal shows a good response to edge to game point but Federer uses his trusty backhand wing again to punch a winner inside the line for deuce. Nadal has time to execute a backhand, but slaps into the net and the crowd crank up the volume as Federer has break point, the first of the second set. A mighty first serve saves the danger. But Federer won't give up, nipping into the net and executing a deft drop shot. Federer targets Nadal's backhand during the next tally rally and finally draws the error from that wing. He's made the breakthrough. FEDERER BREAKS. Nadal is broken in the second set Credit: Reuters   10:36AM Federer 6-4, 2-2 Nadal* (*denotes next server) Federer covers the net well to block any passing attempt from Nadal and forces the Spaniard to go long. Nadal goes for broke on one Federer serve, moving early shaping for a forehand reply, only for Federer to go down the middle. Nadal senses an opening at 30-all, but Federer stops the Spaniard getting ahead of himself with a backhand smash into the corner. Nadal loops the next serve wide but showed decent pressure during the game. 10:32AM Federer* 6-4, 1-2 Nadal (*denotes next server) Solid hold to love for Nadal. He needed that. He retreats to his chair trying to think of a plan to test Federer when they come out again.  10:29AM Federer 6-4, 1-1 Nadal* (*denotes next server) Nadal standing so far back now to receive Federer's serves and the Swiss takes note of this, rushing the net to serve-volley through to three game points. Nadal gets a point on the board, but they are few and far between on Fed's serve today.  10:27AM Federer* 6-4, 0-1 Nadal (*denotes next server) Wow. Federer starts the second as he left the first set, fizzing an unstoppable forehand down the line. But wait, a glimmer of hope now for Nadal as he pushes long on a couple of returns for game point. Federer, calm as you like swings and makes a service return to stay in the game but then can't get under a nippy forehand return from Nadal close to the baseline. 10:20AM Federer 6-4 Nadal* (*denotes next server) Federer bamboozles Nadal again, pushing him into the corner and then unleashing a dazzling forehand into the opposite one. Federer's precision has been superb as he races to three set points. An ace down the T secures him the set. FEDERER WINS THE FIRST SET.  10:17AM Federer* 5-4 Nadal (*denotes next server) A mishit from Nadal sees a forehand return change into a top-spin dropshot that lands short of Federer and is the slice of luck Nadal has been crying out for this final. It's a comfortable hold and his first to love. He'll make Federer serve for the first set.  10:14AM Federer 5-3 Nadal* (*denotes next server) Federer has never beaten Nadal five matches in a row, but currently he's on track to record that milestone. The Swiss is giving Nadal the run around on the baseline and the Spaniard is limited to the odd point here and there on Federer's serve.  10:10AM Federer* 4-3 Nadal (*denotes next server) This is a pure masterclass from Federer and Nadal has to rely on the odd error or two from the world No 2. Nadal stays toe-to-toe with Federer during another baseline slug and draws a mistake from Federer on his forehand wing. He's digging deep to try and keep in touch out there. Nadal serves against Federer Credit: AP   10:06AM Federer 4-2 Nadal* (*denotes next server) Former Chelsea striker Oscar is courtside as Federer eases through his service gears. Three straight aces move him to three game points. A fourth ace completes a perfect game in 50 seconds. Boom. 10:03AM Federer* 3-2 Nadal (*denotes next server) Nadal is being rushed to make his groundstrokes and is struggling to find the lines when put under such pressure. A couple of returns to the net move Nadal to two game points, but the Spaniard slaps his own backhand into the tape. No worries, an ace draws him closer to his great rival. 10:00AM Federer 3-1 Nadal* (*denotes next server) Both players showing indications they want to charge the net where possible to cut short the points. When a rally ensues, Federer has the upper hand, executing the angles and striking the winners. Federer throws in his first wayward shot of the final so far at game point by pushing a forehand long. Again, it's only a short delay as he secures another comfortable service hold. 9:55AM Federer* 2-1 Nadal (*denotes next server) Nadal looks to be shaping up to shake off that early service break when Federer whips a forehand winner across court which unnerves the Spaniard again. From the comfort of 30-0 up, Nadal strikes long to bring Federer level. A body serve catches Federer out and Nadal manages to stop the Swiss' momentum for the time being.  9:52AM Federer 2-0 Nadal* (*denotes next server) Federer is all over anything short coming back at him and causing Nadal all sorts of problems early into the final. He races to 40-15 with his first ace and then looks to have wrapped up the game with another ace, this time out wide, before a line judge calls for a second serve. It only holds him up by 10 seconds, mind. 9:49AM Federer* 1-0 Nadal (*denotes next server) Nadal serves first under the roof. The Spaniard scampers across and makes a zipping service return from Federer, but the Swiss catches his reply sweetly to send Nadal moving in the other direction but out of reach. A couple of dragged backhands into the tramlines hand Federer an early break at 15-40 against the stubble-wearing Federer. Nadal denies his rivalry of the first by stepping into a forehand and brings up deuce with a first ace. Federer sustains the pressure during the next rally, showing great aggressive to force a third break point. This time he takes it by flashing a crisp backhand winner past a net-charging Nadal. FEDERER BREAKS. 9:43AM Sharapova is a winner While Federer and Nadal finish their warm ups there's just time to say that Maria Sharapova has clinched her first WTA title since returning from a drugs ban after beating Aryna Sabalenka to win the Tianjin Open. The five-time grand slam champion overcame Belarusian teenager Sabalenka 7-5 7-6 (10/8). Maria Sharapova ������ (��@WTA) pic.twitter.com/vx6YLFU5Nh— doublefault28 (@doublefault28) October 15, 2017 9:37AM The roof has been closed Organisers have opted against any delays or holds up due to rain by closing the roof for the final. It has been raining heavily in Shanghai earlier today so it's probably the best call even though it's likely to favour Federer.  Both players are out on court, under the lights in Shanghai. Nadal dressed in all blue, Federer in white T-shirt and navy shorts.  9:34AM Can Nadal cement year end No 1 ranking? Victory for Nadal could all but secure the Spaniard of ending the year as the world No 1 for the fourth time.  A win today would extend Nadal's lead over Federer to 2,760 points in the rankings. Nadal hasn't finished the season as top dog since 2013. 9:18AM Back to normality Federer and Nadal resume duties across the net this morning for the fourth time this year. The last time these two giants of the sport were both on court, they were team-mates and jumping on each other's backs in the inaugural Laver Cup in Prague last month. In fact, the tennis world stopped for 81 months to watch Federer and Nadal team up in the doubles for the first time in their careers. While accusations were flying around after the tournament that this was merely a glorified exhibition at best, Federer and Nadal will both have their game faces on as their rivalry returns today. Federer and Nadal teamed up in the doubles at the Laver Cup Credit: Getty Images Federer has won the last four meetings between these two, three of which have been contested this year. You have to go back to the Australian Open in 2014 for Nadal's last win over the Swiss when he won their last four clash in straight sets to reach the final in Melbourne. 9:14AM Federer vs Nadal preview What is it? It's only the 38th encounter between Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal at the Shanghai Masters final. When is it? Today, this morning on Sunday, October 15. What time does it start? Around 9.30BST. What TV channel is it on? It's on Sky Sports Main Event channel from 9.30am. Alternatively, you can follow game-by-game latest with our rolling blog. Bookmark this page and come back in a little while. The 20 greatest tennis players of Open era How did both men reach the final? World No 1 and top seed in Shanghai, Nadal beat Croatia's Marin Cilic 7-5, 7-6 (3) in the first semi-final. Nadal is currently on a 16-match winning streak after lifting the China Open trophy last weekend. Second seed in China, Federer was stretched to three sets before posting a 3-6, 6-3, 6-3 win over Juan Martin del Potro. Federer, looking for his sixth title this year, won the Australian Open and Wimbledon this year to increase his Grand Slam men's singles record to 19 titles. What's their head-to-head record? Nadal holds a commanding 23-14 winning record over Federer, but Federer has won their last four meetings, including all three this season.  What's our prediction? While Federer has had the edge over his rival this year, we fancy Nadal to win in straight sets.  

Roger Federer produces masterclass to beat Rafael Nadal and clinch Shanghai Masters title

Roger Federer’s fantasy season continued on Sunday as he beat Rafael Nadal in straight sets to lift the Shanghai Masters trophy. After the match, Federer was asked what had helped him win his last five meetings against his old nemesis. He smiled and replied “Not playing him on clay.” Sunday’s match was staged on one of the quicker courts in world tennis, which usually works to Federer’s advantage. He leapt out to an early lead, breaking Nadal in the opening game and then maintaining such a punishing rhythm that he dropped only eight points on his own serve throughout. “I played a great match today with hardly any mistakes," said Federer. "It was very clear for me how I had to play and I was able to do it for the one hour and 12 minutes that I was out there. I started perfectly and kept the pressure on.” The head-to-head between the two legends still stands comfortably in favour of Nadal, who has won 23 of their 38 meetings. Yet after his triumphant 2017, Federer now has the advantage on hard courts (11-9) and grass (2-1). It is only on the red clay of continental Europe that he has taken a beating, with 13 defeats and just two victories against the greatest clay specialist of this or any other age. With another month of the season still to go, Federer has already won six titles in 2017 from seven appearances in finals. His ruthlessness is not far short of the extraordinary period, running from July 2003 to Nov 2005, when he played 24 finals and won the lot. Federer’s victory means that the year-end No  1 ranking is not quite tied up after all. Nadal leads his old rival by almost 2,000 points, but you can collect 1,500 via a clean sweep at the Nitto ATP Finals at London’s O2 Arena. Federer is also entered into Basle (500 points) and Paris (1,000), although it would hardly be a surprise if he skipped the latter to make sure he arrives London in the best possible physical condition. "I am actually surprised that I have won here,” said Federer. “With all that has happened since Montreal with my back [which he tweaked in the final there against Alexander Zverev, thus impairing his preparations for the US Open] it is just nice to see that I am back again. "London is my priority now and I really want to win the World Tour Finals. I am very excited to have had the year that I have had and everything that comes from here is a bonus. Finishing the year as world No. 1 is a long shot, and I don't think it will happen. But if I play like this, who knows? Maybe I will get close again." Meanwhile Maria Sharapova has claimed her first WTA title since May 2015 – and her 36th in all – thanks to a hard-earned 7-5, 7-6 win over Aryna Sabalenka in the Tianjin final. Sharapova only beat one top-50 player on her way to the trophy – world No 25 Shuai Peng – but she herself will climb from just outside the top 100 to No 57 as a result of her success. #36 I will always remember you �� pic.twitter.com/GEczLqGRRd— Maria Sharapova (@MariaSharapova) October 15, 2017 Sharapova posted a tweet after her victory. It depicted her holding up the Tianjin trophy in front of a group of fans, and came accompanied by the words “#36 I will always remember you”. She will now continue to her home nation of Russia for the Kremlin Cup in Moscow, where she has been drawn to face Wimbledon semi-finalist Magdalena Rybarikova in the opening round. It has been a strange season for Sharapova, who only returned from her doping ban in Stuttgart in April, and then had her comeback further interrupted by injuries to her thigh and later her left forearm. But this result does at least mean that she can look forward to 2018 with some confidence. 11:24AM Federer on how he's beaten Nadal five times in a row Not playing so much on clay! That's helpful, to avoid the entire claycourt season. With the bigger racket head sizes, I'm not slicing as much. I'm staying on the baseline, dictating points. My heads screwed on the right way as I haven't had to get it round any losses on clay too. Federer on the No 1 ranking... I'm not thinking about it. I just try to be healthy now. 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 (the No 1 spot). 11:16AM Federer takes to the mic I wasn't here last year because of injuries so it's nice to be back here. A stadium that I opened myself a few years ago. It's nice to share this court with you (Rafa) today and hopefully we've got more to come. "It's been a pleasure to share the court with you again today"@RogerFederer + @RafaelNadal = friendship goals#SHRolexMasterspic.twitter.com/5xUHRMiuga— Tennis TV (@TennisTV) October 15, 2017   11:10AM Here comes Rafa Nadal speaks I want to congratulate Roger for a great year. Today you played a fantastic match. This year for him has been my most successful year in China. It's been a great two weeks, I feel very happy for what has happened for me.  11:07AM Federer receives his trophy Federer receives a small bunch of flowers, a trophy and a Rolex watch from organisers during a lengthy presentation ceremony. Then they'll be a lengthy photo session before we can hear from today's champion.  11:02AM Federer clocking up the titles Victory today is Federer's 27th Masters 1000 title. It also means he stays in the hunt for the world No 1 ranking this season. Nadal remains in top spot and 1,940 points clear. But Federer could close on the Spaniard by playing and winning in Basel and Paris where there are 1,500pts at stake. What are the chances that the No 1 spot is on the line at the World Tour Finals in London? More history made.@RogerFederer beats Rafa Nadal for the 5th consecutive time to win 27th Masters 1000 title!#SHRolexMasterspic.twitter.com/kfcFegJXxU— Tennis TV (@TennisTV) October 15, 2017   10:57AM Federer* 6-4, 6-3 Nadal (*denotes next server) Nadal serving to stay in the championships now but Federer rushes the Spaniard by moving him up and down the baseline and then pulling the trigger. The Spaniard doesn't help his own cause by dumping a regulation backhand long and then slaps into the net with an overhead smash. Federer races to three championship points. Nadal saves the first by executing a volley. But he can't save the next and Federer continues his superiority over Nadal this year. That's his fourth of 2017 and his fifth overall. FEDERER WINS SHANGHAI MASTERS WITH STRAIGHT SETS WIN OVER NADAL. Federer celebrates his fifth straight win over Nadal Credit: Reuters   10:54AM Federer 6-4, 5-3 Nadal* (*denotes next server) A brief hold up to the start of the game as two officials take their seats don't disrupt Federer's flow as he sends down another ace. Even when Nadal does get his racket head on a return, he's still standing so far back that he has to cover a lot of room to get the ball back. At three-game points, Federer's mind goes a wandering as he cranks a return at the net well long. It's the only blot on his service book this game. 10:50AM Federer* 6-4, 4-3 Nadal (*denotes next server) Just over an hour played now and Nadal remains at a loss as to how to turn this match around. The Spaniard is on a 16-match winning streak heading into this final but Federer just has the beating of his great rival these days, especially on the hard courts. Federer keeps getting everything back at Nadal, drawing back to 40-30 but the world No 1 executes a drop shot for game.  10:46AM Federer 6-4, 4-2 Nadal* (*denotes next server) Nadal coming in for criticism from co-commentator Peter Fleming for not changing up his tactics and moving 'out of his comfort zone' as Federer motors through another service game. He races to three game points and cements the break with a love game.  10:43AM Federer* 6-4, 3-2 Nadal (*denotes next server) Federer strikes a beautiful backhand winner into the opposite corner for 15-30, but can't back it up as Nadal's forehand catches the Swiss out mid-court with Federer charging to the net.  Nadal shows a good response to edge to game point but Federer uses his trusty backhand wing again to punch a winner inside the line for deuce. Nadal has time to execute a backhand, but slaps into the net and the crowd crank up the volume as Federer has break point, the first of the second set. A mighty first serve saves the danger. But Federer won't give up, nipping into the net and executing a deft drop shot. Federer targets Nadal's backhand during the next tally rally and finally draws the error from that wing. He's made the breakthrough. FEDERER BREAKS. Nadal is broken in the second set Credit: Reuters   10:36AM Federer 6-4, 2-2 Nadal* (*denotes next server) Federer covers the net well to block any passing attempt from Nadal and forces the Spaniard to go long. Nadal goes for broke on one Federer serve, moving early shaping for a forehand reply, only for Federer to go down the middle. Nadal senses an opening at 30-all, but Federer stops the Spaniard getting ahead of himself with a backhand smash into the corner. Nadal loops the next serve wide but showed decent pressure during the game. 10:32AM Federer* 6-4, 1-2 Nadal (*denotes next server) Solid hold to love for Nadal. He needed that. He retreats to his chair trying to think of a plan to test Federer when they come out again.  10:29AM Federer 6-4, 1-1 Nadal* (*denotes next server) Nadal standing so far back now to receive Federer's serves and the Swiss takes note of this, rushing the net to serve-volley through to three game points. Nadal gets a point on the board, but they are few and far between on Fed's serve today.  10:27AM Federer* 6-4, 0-1 Nadal (*denotes next server) Wow. Federer starts the second as he left the first set, fizzing an unstoppable forehand down the line. But wait, a glimmer of hope now for Nadal as he pushes long on a couple of returns for game point. Federer, calm as you like swings and makes a service return to stay in the game but then can't get under a nippy forehand return from Nadal close to the baseline. 10:20AM Federer 6-4 Nadal* (*denotes next server) Federer bamboozles Nadal again, pushing him into the corner and then unleashing a dazzling forehand into the opposite one. Federer's precision has been superb as he races to three set points. An ace down the T secures him the set. FEDERER WINS THE FIRST SET.  10:17AM Federer* 5-4 Nadal (*denotes next server) A mishit from Nadal sees a forehand return change into a top-spin dropshot that lands short of Federer and is the slice of luck Nadal has been crying out for this final. It's a comfortable hold and his first to love. He'll make Federer serve for the first set.  10:14AM Federer 5-3 Nadal* (*denotes next server) Federer has never beaten Nadal five matches in a row, but currently he's on track to record that milestone. The Swiss is giving Nadal the run around on the baseline and the Spaniard is limited to the odd point here and there on Federer's serve.  10:10AM Federer* 4-3 Nadal (*denotes next server) This is a pure masterclass from Federer and Nadal has to rely on the odd error or two from the world No 2. Nadal stays toe-to-toe with Federer during another baseline slug and draws a mistake from Federer on his forehand wing. He's digging deep to try and keep in touch out there. Nadal serves against Federer Credit: AP   10:06AM Federer 4-2 Nadal* (*denotes next server) Former Chelsea striker Oscar is courtside as Federer eases through his service gears. Three straight aces move him to three game points. A fourth ace completes a perfect game in 50 seconds. Boom. 10:03AM Federer* 3-2 Nadal (*denotes next server) Nadal is being rushed to make his groundstrokes and is struggling to find the lines when put under such pressure. A couple of returns to the net move Nadal to two game points, but the Spaniard slaps his own backhand into the tape. No worries, an ace draws him closer to his great rival. 10:00AM Federer 3-1 Nadal* (*denotes next server) Both players showing indications they want to charge the net where possible to cut short the points. When a rally ensues, Federer has the upper hand, executing the angles and striking the winners. Federer throws in his first wayward shot of the final so far at game point by pushing a forehand long. Again, it's only a short delay as he secures another comfortable service hold. 9:55AM Federer* 2-1 Nadal (*denotes next server) Nadal looks to be shaping up to shake off that early service break when Federer whips a forehand winner across court which unnerves the Spaniard again. From the comfort of 30-0 up, Nadal strikes long to bring Federer level. A body serve catches Federer out and Nadal manages to stop the Swiss' momentum for the time being.  9:52AM Federer 2-0 Nadal* (*denotes next server) Federer is all over anything short coming back at him and causing Nadal all sorts of problems early into the final. He races to 40-15 with his first ace and then looks to have wrapped up the game with another ace, this time out wide, before a line judge calls for a second serve. It only holds him up by 10 seconds, mind. 9:49AM Federer* 1-0 Nadal (*denotes next server) Nadal serves first under the roof. The Spaniard scampers across and makes a zipping service return from Federer, but the Swiss catches his reply sweetly to send Nadal moving in the other direction but out of reach. A couple of dragged backhands into the tramlines hand Federer an early break at 15-40 against the stubble-wearing Federer. Nadal denies his rivalry of the first by stepping into a forehand and brings up deuce with a first ace. Federer sustains the pressure during the next rally, showing great aggressive to force a third break point. This time he takes it by flashing a crisp backhand winner past a net-charging Nadal. FEDERER BREAKS. 9:43AM Sharapova is a winner While Federer and Nadal finish their warm ups there's just time to say that Maria Sharapova has clinched her first WTA title since returning from a drugs ban after beating Aryna Sabalenka to win the Tianjin Open. The five-time grand slam champion overcame Belarusian teenager Sabalenka 7-5 7-6 (10/8). Maria Sharapova ������ (��@WTA) pic.twitter.com/vx6YLFU5Nh— doublefault28 (@doublefault28) October 15, 2017 9:37AM The roof has been closed Organisers have opted against any delays or holds up due to rain by closing the roof for the final. It has been raining heavily in Shanghai earlier today so it's probably the best call even though it's likely to favour Federer.  Both players are out on court, under the lights in Shanghai. Nadal dressed in all blue, Federer in white T-shirt and navy shorts.  9:34AM Can Nadal cement year end No 1 ranking? Victory for Nadal could all but secure the Spaniard of ending the year as the world No 1 for the fourth time.  A win today would extend Nadal's lead over Federer to 2,760 points in the rankings. Nadal hasn't finished the season as top dog since 2013. 9:18AM Back to normality Federer and Nadal resume duties across the net this morning for the fourth time this year. The last time these two giants of the sport were both on court, they were team-mates and jumping on each other's backs in the inaugural Laver Cup in Prague last month. In fact, the tennis world stopped for 81 months to watch Federer and Nadal team up in the doubles for the first time in their careers. While accusations were flying around after the tournament that this was merely a glorified exhibition at best, Federer and Nadal will both have their game faces on as their rivalry returns today. Federer and Nadal teamed up in the doubles at the Laver Cup Credit: Getty Images Federer has won the last four meetings between these two, three of which have been contested this year. You have to go back to the Australian Open in 2014 for Nadal's last win over the Swiss when he won their last four clash in straight sets to reach the final in Melbourne. 9:14AM Federer vs Nadal preview What is it? It's only the 38th encounter between Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal at the Shanghai Masters final. When is it? Today, this morning on Sunday, October 15. What time does it start? Around 9.30BST. What TV channel is it on? It's on Sky Sports Main Event channel from 9.30am. Alternatively, you can follow game-by-game latest with our rolling blog. Bookmark this page and come back in a little while. The 20 greatest tennis players of Open era How did both men reach the final? World No 1 and top seed in Shanghai, Nadal beat Croatia's Marin Cilic 7-5, 7-6 (3) in the first semi-final. Nadal is currently on a 16-match winning streak after lifting the China Open trophy last weekend. Second seed in China, Federer was stretched to three sets before posting a 3-6, 6-3, 6-3 win over Juan Martin del Potro. Federer, looking for his sixth title this year, won the Australian Open and Wimbledon this year to increase his Grand Slam men's singles record to 19 titles. What's their head-to-head record? Nadal holds a commanding 23-14 winning record over Federer, but Federer has won their last four meetings, including all three this season.  What's our prediction? While Federer has had the edge over his rival this year, we fancy Nadal to win in straight sets.  

Tennis - Shanghai Masters tennis tournament - Finals

Tennis - Shanghai Masters tennis tournament - Finals - Shanghai, China - October 15, 2017 - Roger Federer of Switzerland celebrates winning against Rafael Nadal of Spain. REUTERS/Aly Song

Tennis - Shanghai Masters tennis tournament - Finals

Tennis - Shanghai Masters tennis tournament - Finals - Shanghai, China - October 15, 2017 - Rafael Nadal of Spain reacts during the match against Roger Federer of Switzerland. REUTERS/Aly Song

Tennis - Shanghai Masters tennis tournament - Finals

Tennis - Shanghai Masters tennis tournament - Finals - Shanghai, China - October 15, 2017 - Roger Federer of Switzerland celebrates winning against Rafael Nadal of Spain. REUTERS/Aly Song

Fabulous Federer downs Nadal in Shanghai classic

World number two Roger Federer lifted the Shanghai Masters crown on Sunday with victory over Rafael Nadal, his 350th ATP 1000 win.

Roger Federer vs Rafael Nadal, Shanghai Masters final: live score updates

    9:52AM Federer 2-0 Nadal* (*denotes next server) Federer is all over anything short coming back at him and causing Nadal all sorts of problems early into the final. He races to 40-15 with his first ace and then looks to have wrapped up the game with another ace, this time out wide, before a line judge calls for a second serve. It only holds him up by 10 seconds, mind. 9:49AM Federer* 1-0 Nadal (*denotes next server) Nadal serves first under the roof. The Spaniard scampers across and makes a zipping service return from Federer, but the Swiss catches his reply sweetly to send Nadal moving in the other direction but out of reach. A couple of dragged backhands into the tramlines hand Federer an early break at 15-40 against the stubble-wearing Federer. Nadal denies his rivalry of the first by stepping into a forehand and brings up deuce with a first ace. Federer sustains the pressure during the next rally, showing great aggressive to force a third break point. This time he takes it by flashing a crisp backhand winner past a net-charging Nadal. FEDERER BREAKS. 9:43AM Sharapova is a winner While Federer and Nadal finish their warm ups there's just time to say that Maria Sharapova has clinched her first WTA title since returning from a drugs ban after beating Aryna Sabalenka to win the Tianjin Open. The five-time grand slam champion overcame Belarusian teenager Sabalenka 7-5 7-6 (10/8). Maria Sharapova ������ (��@WTA) pic.twitter.com/vx6YLFU5Nh— doublefault28 (@doublefault28) October 15, 2017 9:37AM The roof has been closed Organisers have opted against any delays or holds up due to rain by closing the roof for the final. It has been raining heavily in Shanghai earlier today so it's probably the best call even though it's likely to favour Federer.  Both players are out on court, under the lights in Shanghai. Nadal dressed in all blue, Federer in white T-shirt and navy shorts.  9:34AM Can Nadal cement year end No 1 ranking? Victory for Nadal could all but secure the Spaniard of ending the year as the world No 1 for the fourth time.  A win today would extend Nadal's lead over Federer to 2,760 points in the rankings. Nadal hasn't finished the season as top dog since 2013. 9:18AM Back to normality Federer and Nadal resume duties across the net this morning for the fourth time this year. The last time these two giants of the sport were both on court, they were team-mates and jumping on each other's backs in the inaugural Laver Cup in Prague last month. In fact, the tennis world stopped for 81 months to watch Federer and Nadal team up in the doubles for the first time in their careers. While accusations were flying around after the tournament that this was merely a glorified exhibition at best, Federer and Nadal will both have their game faces on as their rivalry returns today. Federer and Nadal teamed up in the doubles at the Laver Cup Credit: Getty Images Federer has won the last four meetings between these two, three of which have been contested this year. You have to go back to the Australian Open in 2014 for Nadal's last win over the Swiss when he won their last four clash in straight sets to reach the final in Melbourne. 9:14AM Federer vs Nadal preview What is it? It's only the 38th encounter between Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal at the Shanghai Masters final. When is it? Today, this morning on Sunday, October 15. What time does it start? Around 9.30BST. What TV channel is it on? It's on Sky Sports Main Event channel from 9.30am. Alternatively, you can follow game-by-game latest with our rolling blog. Bookmark this page and come back in a little while. The 20 greatest tennis players of Open era How did both men reach the final? World No 1 and top seed in Shanghai, Nadal beat Croatia's Marin Cilic 7-5, 7-6 (3) in the first semi-final. Nadal is currently on a 16-match winning streak after lifting the China Open trophy last weekend. Second seed in China, Federer was stretched to three sets before posting a 3-6, 6-3, 6-3 win over Juan Martin del Potro. Federer, looking for his sixth title this year, won the Australian Open and Wimbledon this year to increase his Grand Slam men's singles record to 19 titles. What's their head-to-head record? Nadal holds a commanding 23-14 winning record over Federer, but Federer has won their last four meetings, including all three this season.  What's our prediction? While Federer has had the edge over his rival this year, we fancy Nadal to win in straight sets.  

Roger Federer of Switzerland hits a return against Rafael Nadal of Spain during their men's singles final match at the Shanghai Masters tennis tournament in Shanghai on October 15, 2017

Roger Federer of Switzerland hits a return against Rafael Nadal of Spain during their men's singles final match at the Shanghai Masters tennis tournament in Shanghai on October 15, 2017. (AFP Photo/Chandan KHANNA)

Roger Federer and second-placed Rafael Nadal of Spain hold their trophies after the men's singles final match at the Shanghai Masters tennis tournament

Roger Federer and second-placed Rafael Nadal of Spain hold their trophies after the men's singles final match at the Shanghai Masters tennis tournament (AFP Photo/Chandan KHANNA)

He's made me a better player - Federer relishing another Nadal showdown

Fans at the Shanghai Masters will be treated to a Roger Federer-Rafael Nadal showpiece on Sunday, and the Swiss is relishing the prospect.

Nadal, Federer advance to Shanghai final for 38th encounter

Roger Federer of Switzerland hits a return shot against Juan Martin del Potro of Argentina during their men's semifinals match in the Shanghai Masters tennis tournament at Qizhong Forest Sports City Tennis Center in Shanghai, China, Saturday, Oct. 14, 2017. (AP Photo/Andy Wong)

Nadal, Federer advance to Shanghai final for 38th encounter

Rafael Nadal of Spain celebrates after winning his men's semifinals match against Marin Cilic of Croatia in the Shanghai Masters tennis tournament at Qizhong Forest Sports City Tennis Center in Shanghai, China, Saturday, Oct. 14, 2017. (AP Photo/Andy Wong)

Nadal, Federer advance to Shanghai final for 38th encounter

Rafael Nadal of Spain hits a return shot against Grigor Dimitrov of Bulgaria during their men's quarterfinals match in the Shanghai Masters tennis tournament at Qizhong Forest Sports City Tennis Center in Shanghai, China, Friday, Oct. 13, 2017. (AP Photo/Andy Wong)

Nadal, Federer advance to Shanghai final for 38th encounter

Rafael Nadal of Spain celebrates after winning his men's semifinals match against Marin Cilic of Croatia in the Shanghai Masters tennis tournament at Qizhong Forest Sports City Tennis Center in Shanghai, China, Saturday, Oct. 14, 2017. (AP Photo/Andy Wong)

Nadal, Federer advance to Shanghai final for 38th encounter

Roger Federer of Switzerland hits a return shot against Juan Martin del Potro of Argentina during their men's semifinals match in the Shanghai Masters tennis tournament at Qizhong Forest Sports City Tennis Center in Shanghai, China, Saturday, Oct. 14, 2017. (AP Photo/Andy Wong)

Nadal, Federer advance to Shanghai final for 38th encounter

Rafael Nadal of Spain serves against Marin Cilic of Croatia during their men's singles semifinals match in the Shanghai Masters tennis tournament at Qizhong Forest Sports City Tennis Center in Shanghai, China, Saturday, Oct. 14, 2017. (AP Photo/Andy Wong)

Nadal, Federer advance to Shanghai final for 38th encounter

Roger Federer of Switzerland celebrates after defeating Juan Martin del Potro of Argentina in their men's semifinals match in the Shanghai Masters tennis tournament at Qizhong Forest Sports City Tennis Center in Shanghai, China, Saturday, Oct. 14, 2017. (AP Photo/Andy Wong)

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