Federer gana a Nadal en final de Shanghái
Federer ‘saves best for last’ to beat Nadal for Shanghai title

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El suizo Roger Federer acabó este domingo con la racha ganadora del número uno del tenis mundial, Rafael Nadal, al vencerle en la final de Shanghái por 6-4 y 6-3 en un partido en el que el español no estuvo a su mejor nivel y en el que se comprobó su desgaste físico por acumulación de partidos.

El número dos del mundo, el eterno rival del mallorquín, interrumpió las 16 victorias consecutivas de Nadal (US Open y Abierto de China en Pekín) y logró ganar su sexto título de la temporada. Esta es la primera derrota del español desde que recuperó el número uno del mundo tras hacerse con el título en Flushing Meadows.

Nadal, quien jugó con un estabilizador para proteger su rodilla, se vio visiblemente cansado durante los 72 minutos que duró el partido. En las últimas dos semanas ha jugado once, algunos de ellos de alta intensidad como en los cuartos de final y en la semifinal de Shanghái.

Tras el encuentro de este domingo son 15 las veces que el suizo ha ganado al español de las 38 que se han encontrado, aunque para ver la última victoria de Nadal sobre Federer hay que remontarse al 2014, cuando consiguió imponerse en las semifinales del Open de Australia.

Tras recibir el trofeo de subcampeón, Nadal le dio la enhorabuena a Federer por jugar un “fantástico” partido, y aseguró que este año ha sido el más exitoso de su carrera en China tras haber llegado a la final en Shanghái y haber ganado hace una semana el Abierto de China en Pekín.

“Han sido dos semanas grandiosas y estoy muy feliz por todo lo que me ha pasado en China”, apuntó el jugador.

English

Roger Federer said he “saved the best for last” after he beat great rival Rafael Nadal for the fifth time in succession to win the Shanghai Masters on Sunday.

The surprisingly one-sided 6-4, 6-3 victory over the world number one from Spain brought a 94th title for the Swiss legend, drawing him level with the great Ivan Lendl.

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

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

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

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

Federer, who has been managing his schedule to wring the best out of his ageing body, said he had improved as the week went on and felt he hit peak form just when it mattered.

“It’s been a tough week, five straight matches is always a test and a challenge for anybody’s body, especially with the pressure rising,” he said.

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

“The serve only got better and I saved the best for last — I played some great matches, against (Juan Martin) del Potro in sets two and three and now these two sets here today.

“In a way not surprising because I felt good all week… I was ready.”

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

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