Roger Federer, left, and Rafael Nadal meet at courtside before their match.
Harold Cunningham/Getty Images
BASEL, Switzerland — 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.
"It was a very special day," said Federer, who won his hometown event for the seventh time. "Probably it was my best victory here in Basel."
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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 by meeting Nadal’s hard forehand with a backhand volley winner at the net, and clinched it when Nadal’s service return flew long.
"I lost but I was close to winning, very close," said Nadal, who still has a 23-11 career hold over Federer, including 14-7 in tournament finals.
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 in a title match since Nadal’s victory at the Rome Masters 2 years ago. They last met on court for an Australian Open semifinal that Nadal won in three straight sets in January 2014.