Shanghai:Nikolay Davydenko upset top-seeded Rafael Nadal 7-6 (3), 6-3 on Sunday to win the Shanghai Masters for his fourth title of the year.
It was high quality tennis from both players, but Davydenko's ruthless flat groundstrokes and angled winners denied the Spaniard a sixth title for this year and his first since the Rome Masters in May.
The sixth-seeded Davydenko broke decisively in the sixth game of the second set to collect his 18th career title. The Russian has also won tournaments in Hamburg; Umag, Russia and Kuala Lumpur in 2009.
Nadal, who returned last week after a month out due to a pulled stomach muscle from the US Open, looked short on match play with Ivan Ljubicic of Croatia in the quarterfinals and Feliciano Lopez of Spain in the semi-finals both retiring from their matches.
Nadal, who has won six Grand Slam titles, dropped to 5-3 in finals this season and 4-3 head-to-head over Davydenko.
Nadal had reached the semi-finals at Beijing last week on his return to the tour. He was also sidelined after the French Open for two months with tendinitis of both knees.
The final point of the match delivered some drama when Nadal's forehand received a late out call by a linesperson. Davydenko thought he won the match, but Nadal challenged the call.
Watching the challenge in a crouch, Davydenko leapt up in victory when the replay showed Nadal's ball had landed long. He then ran to the side of the court for a kiss from his wife Irina.