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For the 38th time in their historic careers, world No. 1 #Rafael Nadal and No. 2 #Roger Federer collide anew, this time for the Shanghai Rolex Masters trophy. Nadal and Federer dispose of their respective semifinal rivals to seal their fourth meeting this season. Federer had to bounce back from a one-set deficit en route to a 3-6, 6-3, 6-3 win over Juan Martin del Potro for his third final at the #ATP World Tour Masters 1000 event. Nadal survived a tough challenge from Marin Cilic en route to a 7-5, 7-6(3) triumph. The win carried Nadal to his 111th final and 10th of the year.

Nadal leads Federer 23-14 in their head-to-head career meetings, but the Swiss tennis superstar won their last four meetings, dating back to Basel in 2015.

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Federer also defeated Nadal in the final of the Australian Open and the Miami Open and in the Round of 16 at the BNP Paribas Open. If Nadal the wins the title, he will extend his lead over Federer in the ATP Race to London rankings to 2,760 points, virtually securing the year-end No. 1 honors for the fourth time in his career.

Federer to make Nitto ATP Finals interesting if...

However, Federer will make the Nitto ATP Finals more interesting if he beats Nadal in the finals. Federer will pull within 1,960 points if he emerges victorious in Shanghai and could clinch the year-end No. 1 for the first time since 2009 if he finishes the year strong. When asked about his finals date with Nadal, Federer said it’s nice to meet him again in the finals in the late stage of their respective careers. “There are only going to be a few chances for either player, and sometimes it's just who blinks at the wrong time,” said Federer, per ATPWorldTour.com.

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Federer avenged US Open loss to del Potro

With his hard-earned win, Federer avenged his US Open quarterfinal loss to del Potro. After losing the first set, the 36-year-old Federer did not face a break point in the final two sets. He also broke del Potro twice in the deciding set to finish the match in one hour and 58 minutes. It was a valiant effort for del Potro, who suffered a contusion on his left wrist in his quarterfinal win over Viktor Troicki Friday.

Nadal, for his part, moved past Andre Agassi for Open Era wins list with 871 after beating Cilic in two hours and 12 minutes. He will go for a record 31st ATP World Tour Masters 1000 title when he takes on Federer Saturday. Despite the loss, Cilic remains in contention for a place in the Nitto ATP Finals. The 29-year-old Cilic is currently in fifth position in the ATP Race To London, with 3,535 points.