ATP Finals Flashback: Roger Federer storms over Rafael Nadal in 59 minutes



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ATP Finals Flashback: Roger Federer storms over Rafael Nadal in 59 minutes

Like in 2006, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal were the rivals in the Masters Cup semi-final in 2007. As in 2005 and 2006, Roger and Rafa were the players to beat that season, taking all four Majors and standing above Novak Djokovic and all the others.

Leading the Shanghai field, Federer lost the opening match against Fernando Gonzalez before scoring two wins to find himself in the last four. Nadal defeated Richard Gasquet and Novak Djokovic, setting the clash against the most significant rival and hoping to avenge Wimbledon's heartbreaking loss from July.

Instead of that, Roger outplayed him completely, earning a commanding 6-4, 6-1 victory in 59 minutes to advance into the fifth straight Masters Cup final. It was Roger's sixth victory over Rafa and the third in the previous four encounters that season, firing 11 aces and dropping 11 points in nine service games.

Nadal wasted the only break chance he created, suffering three breaks and staying empty-handed against the Swiss for the second time at the Masters Cup. Federer had 24 winners and 16 unforced errors, forcing around 20 mistakes from Rafa while staying on eight.

Dominating with his initial shot and a groundstroke, Federer forged a massive advantage in the shortest range up to four strokes, staying in touch with Nadal in the more extended exchanges to sail into the title match. Roger blasted an ace in the opening game for a hold at 15, followed by Nadal's ace that gave him the game at love for 1-1.

The Swiss placed another unreturned serve down the T line in game three to move in front, looking sharp behind the initial shot so far.

In 2007, Roger Federer defeated Rafael Nadal at the Masters Cup in Shanghai.

Rafa secured the fourth game with a perfect forehand winner and took the opening two points on the return before Roger fired four powerful serves to get out of jail and move 3-2 ahead.

The Spaniard clinched the sixth game with a volley winner, leveling the score at 3-3 in under 20 minutes. The first break chance came in game seven, and Federer saved it with a forced mistake to keep the serve intact, landing two winners at deuce to grab the game and open a 4-3 gap.

Nadal hit a service winner to stay on the positive side, playing on level terms with Roger so far but losing ground in the rest of the clash. Federer held from 30-15 down in game nine and fired a forehand down the line winner at 5-4 to close the opening set and gain momentum.

Fading from the court, Rafa got broken at love in the second set's game two, allowing Roger to race towards a 3-0 lead with a quick hold. The Spaniard hit a double fault in game four to drop the sixth straight game before the Swiss moved 5-0 up and a game away from the triumph.

Rafa held at love in game six to prolong the encounter for one game, as Roger sealed the deal with a hold at 30 to advance into the fifth Masters Cup final.