Roger Federer produced a stunning display of tennis to thrash his great rival Rafael Nadal 6-3, 6-0 and book his place in the semi-finals at the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals in London
A packed O2 Arena brimmed with excitement as arguably the best two players of all time took to the court for their 26th clash in a repeat of last year’s final. Federer had won only seven of their previous meetings but he was simply on another level as he wrapped up victory in 61 minutes, winning 10 of the last 11 games.
Federer began with a double-fault but he crunched a forehand winner on the next point to get on the board, and in a quite breathtaking sixth game he broke through.
A forehand creamed down the line gave him 0-30, and the Swiss star’s aggressive approach then earned him three break points when Nadal offered up an easy smash. The clinching point summed up what makes the pair so special, the momentum swinging this way and that in a pulsating rally before Nadal drove a backhand just wide.
The crowd, who were split fairly evenly, roared their appreciation, and the Swiss flags were waving again shortly afterwards when another Federer forehand winner gave him the first set.
Nadal was made to pay again in the opening game of the second set as the world number four drilled another sublime forehand winner down the line to secure a second break of serve. He simply could not cope with the speed of the 30-year-old’s game and Federer made it four games in a row with another break.
Nadal was battling simply to get on the board in the second set but he could not manage it and Federer wrapped up his first love set against the Spaniard for four-and-a-half years.