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Ruthless Novak Djokovic dispatches Alexander Zverev in Shanghai semis

13 October 2018

The 21-year-old Borna Coric has become the first player born in 1996 who reached the Masters 1000 final after a picture ideal 6-4 6-4 triumph over the top seed and defending champion Roger Federer in an hour and 13 minutes!

Federer will lose the number 2 place in the rankings to Novak Djokovic on Monday and this was his first loss in the semi-final of the Masters 1000 events since Paris 2013 when Novak Djokovic defeated him in straight sets.

The defending champion reached the semifinals Friday by beating eighth-seeded Kei Nishikori 6-4, 7-6 (4).

However, Djokovic was gifted a break of serve when Zverev's level dropped alarmingly in the sixth game, and the three-time champion in Shanghai soon wrapped up the opening set in ruthless fashion.

"I think I served the best in my life, for sure".

"Today, really, I just came on the court with absolutely no pressure".

"Serving, I think, it's okay, could be even a little bit better".

"It's close to, or it's maybe equal to winning a Grand Slam, and I think other players will tell you the same thing, because just to be there, you obviously play well throughout the whole year".

A win on Sunday would deliver a fourth title of the season to Djokovic, alongside Wimbledon and the US Open.

"It's the best I've ever seen him play, there were no lapses in concentration, he struck the ball beautifully and there wasn't much Federer could do", said former British No. 1 Greg Rusedski afterwards, as reported by the British media. His first two matches both went three sets.

The victor of the last two grand slams, Djokovic has been unstoppable in recent months and crushed Zverev 6-2 6-1 to set up a final meeting with either Roger Federer or Borna Coric.

He is desperate to take injured Rafael Nadal's number one spot before the year is out, and on this evidence, he will.

Djokovic, who had elbow surgery in February but recovered to win Wimbledon and then the US Open last month, said: "Being number two after this tournament is also a great achievement, considering the first four, five months of the year and considering I had the surgery".

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. 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.

Ruthless Novak Djokovic dispatches Alexander Zverev in Shanghai semis