Federer beats Nadal in London final
Sun, 28 Nov 19:35:00 2010
The 29-year-old won the opening set after sealing a single and decisive break, before Nadal hit back to level the match as he took the second set by the same margin.
But it was Federer who had the edge, and the Swiss broke his opponent's serve twice to sail serenely through the final set 6-1 and clinch a thrilling victory to end this year's campaign in the perfect fashion.
Federer triumphed in one hour, 37 minutes when he looped a forehand on to the baseline. It was his 32nd winner of the match and the 16-times Grand Slam champion walked off with the £1 million jackpot.
Both players received rousing support from a capacity crowd, and the quality was typically high early on as each held serve under immense pressure.
ATP Masters London: Final
Federer seized his opportunity in clinical fashion at 4-3 to seal what proved a decisive break as Nadal faltered fractionally on serve, and two stunning backhand passes saw the Swiss assume a 5-3 advantage.
The world number two closed out the opening set in just 32 minutes with an unerring service hold to stamp his authority on the encounter.
But Nadal was not denied for long, and the Spaniard slammed two sensational forehand winners to breach his opponent's defence and seize the initiative with a break at 3-1 in the second set.
Federer could not muster a response despite throwing everything at the world number one, and Nadal held his composure to close out the second set in 34 minutes and set up a seemingly inevitable decider.
The final set was absorbing as the pair traded blows in breathtaking extended rallies, and it took until the fourth game for either play to force a breakthrough.
Federer took control in the fourth game when he unleashed a staggering array of attacking shots from the back of the court to break at 3-1.
The world number two consolidated his break of serve at 4-1, before moving to within a game of the match with a second assault on Nadal's serve .
Federer was utterly relentless and unwavering in his pursuit of victory, and a final service hold with a forehand which landed inside the baseline saw the Swiss end his season on a high.Dan Quarrell / Eurosport