Magical Murray downs Federer
Federer was broken in the opening game of the match from leading 40-15 and the match went downhill from that point onwards for the Swiss player.
Murray managed to torment Federer with his movement, shot selection and his unique ability to retrieve the ball from seemingly impossible situations.
It was the type of convincing performance that suggests better times ahead in his quest for that elusive first Grand Slam title.
"I played some of my best tennis," said Murray. "You always have to do that to beat Roger, which I did. I managed to do that most of the week."
The Scot's court coverage was outstanding throughout the final, but so was his resolve as he faced six break points and saved them all with some fine second serves.
Murray won 56% of his points on second serve. Set against Federer's 24%, it was a key reason behind Murray's win. Put simply, he played the big points better, a point picked up on by Federer afterwards.
"Andy had an outstanding tournament," said the always magnanimous Federer. "I thought Andy played great today. He didn't give me many chances."
Federer is set to move up to second in the world after his run to the final, but he was second best to Murray on this occasion.
It comes only a couple of months after he succumbed to Murray in the final of the Toronto Masters.
Neither man had dropped a set in reaching the final. Murray had overcome Yan Bai, Jeremy Chardy, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Juan Monaco, while Federer had dismissed John isner, Andreas Seppi, Robin Soderling and Novak Djokovic.
Murray looked a different beast from the erratic figure who complained about injury and seemed to suffer an outbreak of childish petulance in slumping to defeat to the powerful Stanislas Wawrinka in the third round of the US Open last month.
Murray was totally focused on the job in hand in the final. He established a 5-3 lead in the opening set and broke Federer for a second time to claim it by producing a tremendous passing shot on the run.
Federer had two break points in the opening game of the second set, but Murray did not allow Federer the chance to break him, which summed up the theme of the match.
With Federer being blighted by inconsistency on his groundstrokes, particularly a wildly fluctuating forehand, Murray broke to lead 3-1 and tied it up with his second break of the second set to wrap it up 6-2 as Federer could only bundle a volley into the net.
Murray now holds an 8-5 lead over the Swiss player in their career meetings, but Federer remains 3-2 ahead of Murray in their final duels, including wins over the Scotsman at the 2008 US Open and this year's Australian Open.
The one disappointing aspect of the final was a low attendance at such a match inside the gigantic stadium court in Shanghai.
It did not deter Murray, who made the occasion one to remember with the quality of his play.