Roger Federer defeats Rafael Nadal to win the Shanghai Masters

Roger Federer defeated his longtime rival Rafael Nadal 6-4 6-3 to win the Masters on Sunday, capping an utterly dominant tournament for the 36-year-old star.  After the US Open, there were concerns about Federer's health, which he attempted to quash with the Masters.

Although the level of competition may not have been the same, it was still a huge win for Federer, the No. 2-ranked player in the world. Nadal, the world No. 1, was in the midst of a 16-match winning streak and he was looking for his first career Shanghai Rolex Masters title. Nadal showed that he is still in competitive form, and he took the loss in stride.

"When somebody plays better than you, sport is not very difficult," he said after the match. "When you play against somebody that is better than you in most of the things that really matters on this sport in this kind of surface, then it's tougher. There is room to improve for me, and I'm going to try. But the conditions here were much better for him than for me, being honest."

Nadal also had a good takeaway from the tournament. "I played a fantastic tournament, having very good wins. Very pleased the way I played the whole Asian tour for me, whole China tour. Beijing, Shanghai have been a very positive two weeks for me," he said. "A lot of points, a lot of victories against great opponents. I come back with very good personal satisfaction the way that I played."

Federer, meanwhile, just said that he was grooving. "I played a great match today with hardly any mistakes," he said in his post-match presser. "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."

Although Nadal still holds an edge in the career series -- he is currently 23-15 against Federer -- that actually may make the win more significant for Federer. It was an excellent tournament for both superstars, who are closing out 2017 and looking to carry momentum into 2018. For Federer, his career may be in its twilight, which makes these wins all the more special as they come.

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