Madrid, May 18: Roger Federer defeated world number one Rafael Nadal 6-4, 6-4 to win the Madrid Masters on Sunday to strike a timely early blow in his campaign to lift an elusive French Open.
His win ended a five-match losing streak against the Spaniard, a run which included three Grand Slam finals and ended Nadal's 33-match winning streak on clay, a run stretching back over a year to the Rome second round in 2008.
Federer fired two aces, his fifth and sixth of the afternoon to wrap up the victory and lift his record in finals against his Spanish rival to 5-11.
Federer heads into the French Open starting in a week with a huge confidence boost after finally defeating the rival who stripped him of his Wimbledon title last summer.
Nadal, who had won claycourt titles in Monte Carlo, Barcelona and Rome this spring, was visibly jaded from his semi-final on Saturday when he needed over four hours to defeat Novak Djokovic.