Published: Sun, October 14, 2018
Sport | By Gary Shelton

Shanghai Masters: Novak Djokovic beats Borna Coric to extend winning run

Shanghai Masters: Novak Djokovic beats Borna Coric to extend winning run

Djokovic held the advantage to seal the victory and set up a semi-final clash with Germany's Alexander Zverev, who became the fifth singles player to qualify for November's ATP Finals with a 6-4 6-4 win over Kyle Edmund.

He also dispensed of three-time Grand Slam victor and Federer's fellow Swiss Stan Wawrinka in his opening match.

Djokovic saved set point in the opener before taking control of the tie break and the second set to dump out the South African seventh seed.

"I thought he was better, I think he had more punch on the ball".

"I could not ask for a better scenario", Djokovic said of his late surge to the summit of men's tennis.

"I wasn't - I feel like - playing as well as I'm playing today", he warned. "I think it was a really good week for me".

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Djokovic, who is the only player to lift all nine Masters titles, will overtake Roger Federer to take the No.2 spot in the ATP rankings, while Coric will enter the top-15 for the first time in his career on Monday.

And following this latest win, Djokovic watched as Coric apologised to the crowd for not being able to speak their native language before stepping up to the microphone and reeling off flawless Chinese in his acceptance speech.

A miss-hit Federer forehand gifted Coric the opening break of the second set for a 2-0 lead, before Coric pulled off an excellent lob and smashed an ace down the tee to move clear at 5-3.

The 31-year-old is in imperious form and this was his 17th ATP victory in a row, as he taught the rising German star a lesson. However, the current price of [1.15] looks pretty short given this data - it's not a vast discrepancy in abilities - and even if we look at data from the last three months, where Djokovic has been magnificent, again, their ability differential is not huge.

The 21-year-old Zverev made an iffy start, beginning his first service game with a double-fault.

The second set followed a similar pattern and, while Coric improved, he was unable to deny Djokovic a fourth Shanghai Masters title. An increasingly exasperated Zverev issued more punishment to his racquet at 3-1 down, earning a code violation and tossing the battered piece into the crowd.

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