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

The insane stat behind Djokovic's Shanghai title assault

The insane stat behind Djokovic's Shanghai title assault

Red-hot Novak Djokovic will attempt to land his fourth title of the year when he takes on Borna Coric in the final of the Shanghai Masters on Sunday.

Top seed Federer plays 13th seed Borna Coric of Croatia in the other semi-final.

The Serb, who recovered from elbow surgery in February, to win Wimbledon and then the US Open last month is in imperious form as he taught the rising German star a lesson to record his 17th ATP victory in a row and is 26-1 in matches played since the start of Wimbledon.

Knowing that I won against him in our last encounter in the Cincinnati final obviously can add more to my confidence and approach to the match.

"It was the same length, actually, as all three of my matches went the same length basically, an hour and 52 (minutes)", Federer said. He squandered a first break point by firing a forehand into the net, but claimed the advantage on his second chance when his opponent shanked an terrible forehand long.

Coric was quick out of the blocks at the Qi Zhong Stadium as he broke in the opening game against the top seed and only lost five points on serve to clinch the first set in 34 minutes.

Serving for the match, Coric perhaps showed a first sign of nerves with a weak forehand into net to fall 15-30 down, but he responded with a big unreturned first serve, an ace and a forehand victor to send his illustrious opponent crashing out.

"He's good in defense now, he has a transition game now, and a solid serve".

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Novak to me right now looks like the best player on the planet and looks like the guy who is dominating men's tennis.

Djokovic will be up a place to second in the world - overtaking 20-time Grand Slam champion Federer - when the rankings are released on Monday.

"I wasn't, I feel like, playing as well as I'm playing today". You need to direct the focus where it matters.

"That then plays a role for the rest of the season, and that's it, I still don't know".

He exited the US Open in the last 16 at the hands of unheralded Australian John Millman, ranked 55th, and only made the quarter-finals at Wimbledon.

"I did everything I meant to do on my end", Djokovic said.

Coric, who has only two career titles to his name, has now beaten Federer twice - the previous time was in the final at Halle this year.

The world number five - who beat Djokovic in their only previous meeting, a year ago in the Rome Masters final - recovered his poise for a time.

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