Roger Federer said he has finally shaken off the “scars” of his many defeats to Rafael Nadal after claiming the Shanghai Masters with his fifth win in a row over the world number one.
The 36-year-old Swiss put on a masterclass to beat Nadal 6-4, 6-3 on Sunday, lifting his sixth trophy this season and underlining a turnaround in fortunes against his long-time nemesis.
Federer, the world number two, ended a sequence of five straight defeats to Nadal at Basel last year, before winning their gripping Australian Open final in January.
Federer also beat Nadal at Indian Wells and in the Miami final prior to Shanghai, although the Spaniard still holds a handsome advantage in their overall record down the years, winning 23 of their 38 matches.
Federer said that “we don’t have enough years left on the tour” for him to overhaul his great rival in their head-to-head count, but he insisted he’s not concerned by the disparity.
“I just think I’m not so scarred like maybe I have been in the past, not that I was horribly scarred in any way,” said the Swiss, when asked what had clicked against Nadal.
“But I did lose against him sometimes, a lot of the times especially on the clay courts.”
Federer holds a record 19 Grand Slam titles, three ahead of Nadal after both players cast off injuries to add two more major victories this year in a surprise resurgence.
Federer skipped the clay court season this year and he said avoiding Nadal on his favourite surface had also given him an advantage.