Roger Federer has started his mission to overhaul Spanish nemesis Rafael Nadal for the number one spot with aplomb in the Shanghai Masters final.
The 36-year-old Swiss served four consecutive aces in the 6-4 6-3 win against Nadal.
At the end of a rather chastising experience for the Spaniard, the 30-year-old showed his class and congratulated the Swiss legend and said he had enjoyed the experience of playing in yet another final against Federer.
“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.”
Class there by Nadal.
What that means now is that Federer only has to win in the Paris Masters, Basel, and the world tour finals.
It still seems to be a massive ask to be honest, but Federer is really turning back the clock in recent months.
His performance in Shanghai was at times majestic even without his four consecutive aces. The Swiss, as he has been for much of his career, was pretty much unplayable.
His backhand in the fifth game of the final set was a thing of beauty, as was Nadal’s forehand return.
Even the 30-year-old from Majorca couldn’t keep the Swiss out for long, and once Federer won break point, the writing was starting to appear on the wall.
Following his victory in Shanghai, the 36-year-old Swiss gave a classy interview about his number one prospects and why he has beaten Nadal five times in a row by staying off clay.
“Not playing so much on clay!” Federer said in Shanghai.
“That's helpful, to avoid the entire clay court 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.
“I'm not thinking about it.
“I just try to be healthy now.”
You can watch Federer's moment of greatness when he hit fours consecutive aces against Nadal in the video below.
When asked about the prospect on attaining the number one spot – the 36-year-old was keeping his cards close to his chest;
“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).”