Roger Federer has been making headlines for the most of 2017 with a few setbacks during the clay court season. Trying to build last-minute momentum during the Asian swing on hard court, Federer targeted the Shanghai Rolex Masters in an attempt to win his third Masters 1000 of the season and to possibly close the gap on the world No. 1 seat. Reaching his seventh final of the year, the world No. 2 took on Rafael Nadal in what has become an all-time tennis classic matchup usually called Fedal by those enthusiastic hoards of fans. Undefeated against Nadal since 2014, Federer had won the previous two meetings without dropping a set.

As it turned out, in the end, Federer has kept a clean sheet on this matter scoring yet another flashy straight sets win against Nadal.

Federer soared over a deflated Nadal

Undefeated since late August in Cincinnati, Rafael Nadal was unable to keep up the momentum after winning his third US Open and 16th Grand Slam overall. Having won 16 matches in a row exclusively on hard courts, the Spaniard seemed to have the upper hand this time against Federer.

Choosing to serve first turned out to be bad decision-making, with Nadal being put under pressure from the beginning. On the other side, Federer made it clear that his speedy game was on the table as he went on to secure a break in the first game of the final.

From that point on, he was in total control of the encounter. Moreover, Federer did a perfect job with his own serve. As a consequence, Nadal had zero break chances during the inaugural act and the story would be repeated in the second set too. Federer took the opening act 6-4, forcing Nadal to take some unnecessary risks. While the unforced errors from the Spaniard's side started to mount, Federer's precision remained the same.

Moreover, he again used that flashy aggressive backhand, disrupting Nadal's defense even more. Two breaks of serve gave Federer the final say in the final.

Federer brings balance in his head to head over Nadal

For the first time in his career, Roger Federer has won five times in a row against Nadal. A series that started back in 2015 in Basel has put the 36-year-old in a unique position.

Still, Rafael Nadal leads by 23-15 but given the current trend, the gap might get thinner in the near future.

By winning the 2017 Shanghai Rolex Masters, Roger Federer has reached the 27th Masters 1000 tile milestone. On the other side, Rafael Nadal lost his second final here. The gap between the first two seats is now a bit under 2000 points, which gives Federer, at least theoretically, a chance to surpass Nadal by the end of the season.