2018 ATP Shanghai Masters 1000: Review Of The Final Weekend

Novak Djokovic has won his record fourth title at the Rolex Shanghai Masters to capture his 32nd title in a ATP 1000 event after ending the giant killing run of the 11th seeded Borna Coric of Croatia 6-3,6-4 in one hour and 35 minutes on Sunday. Djokovic is now only within 35 points of Rafael Nadal in the race to London and will replace Roger Federer as the second ranked player in the world when the rankings are released on Monday.

Djokovic who did not drop a single set in adding to the titles he won in 2012,2014 and 2015, saved the only break point he faced in the entire match in the sixth game of the second set and converted on two of the nine break points he had against the Croat who was making his maiden appearance in a Masters series final.

Djokovic has not lost serve in 47 games in five matches played this week. He improves to 45-10 for the year and is now 3-0 against the 21 year old Coric. In capturing his 71st career title Djokovic is 27-1 since start of Wimbledon. That includes a fourth Wimbledon title, a maiden title at the Cincinnati Masters which made him the only player in the history of the game to win all nine Masters titles atleast once, a third U.S. Open crown and fourth title in Shanghai. The only loss coming at the hands of the Greece prodigy Stefanos Tsitsipas at the Roger’s Cup in Toronto.

Djokovic got the only service break in the sixth game of the first set and then hold on to his own serve to wrap up the first set. Coric who had his right leg strapped looked set for a drubbing in the second set as he lost serve in the opening game as he missed a simple drive volley at the net. To his credit he saved break points in the third game and also saved three more in the ninth game to force Djokovic to serve out the match. The Serb had no difficulty in winning the game to love to end the match.

The Croat who will lead his country’s challenge in an away Davis Cup tie against France next month, will rise to a career high 12th in the rankings and now has an outside chance of qualifying for the season ending finale in London. The Croat had beaten Roger Federer for the second time this year in the semi finals on Saturday, and was looking to win his third career title. In June 2018, Coric had beaten the Swiss in the final of the Gerry Weber Open to claim the ATP 500 title on grass.

In the first semi final on Saturday, the second seeded Djokovic made short work of the 22 year old German prodigy Alexander Zverev, seeded fourth as he romped through 6-2,6-1 in just 60 minutes in an eagerly anticipated clash. The German had beaten Djokovic to claim his maiden Masters series title in Rome last year on clay in what was their only previous meeting on Tour.

Indeed Zverev looked solid in his first two service games but once Djokovic got the break in the sixth game it was all one way traffic. The Serb never faced a break point and converted on four out of the six break point chances in the match. Djokovic was dominant in the entire match as he won 51 points, while Zverev won only 29 points.

In the evening session, Borna Coric had a surprisingly easy 6-4,6-4 win over the Top seeded Roger Federer in only one hour and thirteen minutes. Like Djokovic, Coric never faced a break point in the entire match and worked hard to convert on two out of seven break point chances. One break of serve in each set was all he needed as he evened his career head to head against the legendary Swiss at 2-2.

Federer who had beaten Coric in three tight sets in the Semi-final of the BNP Paribas Indian Wells Masters in March, made little inroads against the Coric serve. Coric won 61 points against Federer’s 49, and also edged the Swiss 9-8 on aces count. Coric had 78% first serves in, won 32 out if 38 points on first serve (84%).

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