BASEL, Switzerland (AP) Roger Federer mastered Rafael Nadal in their first meeting in almost two years to win the Swiss Indoors final 6-3, 5-7, 6-3 on Sunday.
The top-seeded Federer ended a five-match losing streak against Nadal, including the last time they played for a title in May 2013.
With the match finely poised in the deciding set, Federer hit a series of ground strokes for winners and broke Nadal’s serve for a 5-3 lead.
Federer created his second match point with a backhand volley winner and clinched it when Nadal’s service return flew long.
Nadal still has a 23-11 career hold over Federer, including 14-7 in tournament finals.
Federer’s sixth title this season is also the seventh of his career at his hometown event in Basel.
The Swiss Indoors, where Federer was once a ball boy, is now the fifth tour event he was won at least seven times. He has eight titles at the Wimbledon warm-up tournament in Halle, Germany.
Federer dominated the first half of the match, finding the lines with his ground strokes and commanding at the net, but he was broken at 5-5 in the second set and Nadal forced a third.
The old rivals had not faced each other on court since Nadal won an Australian Open semifinal in three straight sets in January 2014. Their previous title match was another Nadal victory at the Rome Masters 2 1/2 years ago.
Federer broke Nadal for a 3-2 lead, creating the chance with a backhand passing shot and taking it with a fierce forehand winner.
Federer clinched the set with four straight points on Nadal’s serve, sealed by a forehand crosscourt winner.
The Swiss even stepped up his intensity to start the second set, needing just a few strokes to win the opening game.
Nadal again called for the trainer at a changeover, as he did in a semifinal victory over Richard Gasquet, and had his right knee taped.
The third-seeded Spaniard saved a break point midway through the set and soon unleashed his best shot of the match – stretching to fire a low forehand winner down the line.
Nadal broke for a 6-5 lead after Federer’s backhand briefly faltered, and served out the set.
In the deciding set, Nadal found a stunning backhand crosscourt winner to save a break point when trailing 2-1.