Novak Djokovic added another Masters tournament title to his burgeoning list by beating Borna Coric in the final of the Shanghai Masters title. He won 6-3, 6-4.
Djokovic v Coric Head to Head:
Djokovic leads 2-0
Monte-Carlo Masters 2018, Djokovic won 7-6, 6-2
Road to the Final:
R1: Bye, R2: Chardy, R3: Cecchinato, QF: Anderson, SF: Zverev
R1: Wawrinks, R2: Klahn, R3: del Potro, QF: Ebden, SF: Federer
Yep, this match won’t just decide the title winner at the Shanghai Masters but will also go a long way in deciding that year-ending number one on the ATP circuit. While Federer was defending 1000 points and ended with a lot lesser, Djokovic hadn’t played in this tournament last year while Rafael Nadal, who missed the tournament last year, was the runner-up and will lose 600 points for not playing in this year’s competition.
At the start of this tournament, Djokovic was 1800 points behind Nadal, which means a title win will shave off 1000 of those points. With the Paris Masters and the World Tour Finals still to be played, it could be anyone’s guess who finishes atop.
Djokovic made it to the final with a win that befitted a man who has seen a drastic turnaround in form this year. He won the Wimbledon earlier this year but more vitally he has been on a 16-match winning streak that includes two title wins in Cincinnati and Flushing Meadows.
What would make him an even more dangerous opponent than the one who beat Federer in the Cincinnati final is the clinical nature of his victories in this tournament so far. It started off with a straight-set win over Jeremy Chardy and continued with victories over Marco Cecchinato and Kevin Anderson in the next two – both without dropping a set.
However, the biggest win for Djokovic came in the semi-finals where he dropped only three games against next-Gen star Alexander Zverev to make it through to the title-decider. The Serb looks like he is a man on a mission when he faces his final opponent.
The man who prevented a Djokovic-Federer final in Shanghai, Coric, demolished his Swiss opponent in straight sets, winning 6-4, 6-4 to fire a warning to his Serbian opponent. After all he’s already beaten Stan Wawrinka in round one, Blaz Klahn in the second round, got the better of the injured Juan Martin del Potro in the third before overcoming Mathew Ebden in the quarter-finals.
And despite this really tough draw to make it to the final, it should give him immense satisfaction given this will be his first ever Masters final appearance and just his fifth ATP competition final. In previous four, he won two titles which includes one in Morocco and another in Halle earlier this year.
In fact this semi-final showing at the Shanghai Masters was just his second in ATP 1000 tournaments, having made the last-four stage at the Indian Wells Masters earlier this year. That was followed by just his fourth career quarter-finals appearance in the Masters when he got there in Miami but since then there has been bit of a drought for him.
Coric managed just one third round entry – in Madrid – getting knocked out in the first round in each of the other Masters tournaments he played.
Where things might have turned around for him, at least as far getting his confidence right up there, is the fourth round entry he made at the US Open earlier this year. For a player as talented as Coric, it was his first ever dive into the round of 16 at his 18th Grand Slam appearance. There he lost to the ultimate finalist Juan Martin del Potro.