Ferrer, Federer in final

Shanghai, November 17:

Roger Federer was at his brilliant best as he dominated second-ranked Rafael Nadal 6-4, 6-1 to advance to the Masters Cup final today.

The top-ranked Swiss star will face No 6 David Ferrer, who used sparkling defense to down No 5 Andy Roddick 6-1, 6-3 in the season-ending tournament for the top eight players in the rankings.

Nadal had led 8-5 in head-to-head meetings against Federer and played well early. But defending champion Federer matched him shot for shot, then kicked into high gear while serving at 4-4 in the first set.

Federer, who has won his three matches since losing his opener, landed 83 per cent of his first serves. He ended up with 26 winners to 16 unforced errors and yielded only 11 points in his nine service games.

Ferrer was sharp from the start, while Roddick exhibited the effects of the short 20-hour turnaround from his loss to Federer the night before. After Roddick held serve to start the match, Ferrer ran off six games in a row, with Roddick never managing a game point. Roddick won only 11 of his 26 service points in the first set.

Ferrer broke Roddick for the fourth time to pull ahead 4-2 in the second set, aided by a pair of seemingly impossible crosscourt winners. Ferrer showed some nerves while serving for the match, double-faulting at 40-30.

But Roddick then sent a forehand long and a serve return into the net to finish it.