Novak Djokovic romped into the Shanghai Masters final with a complete mastery of Alexander Zverev on Saturday. He won 6-2, 6-1 to complete his fourth successive straight-set win in the competition.
The world number three, aiming to finish the year as the top-ranked player, wasted no time in getting on the board in the first set. He broke Zverev early and finished the first set with another break of serve to win 6-2.
It progressively got worse for Zverev, who managed to win just one game in the second set before Djokovic wrapped up the match and set up a final with the winner of the Roger Federer-Borna Coric encounter. With this win, Djokovic also avenged his defeat at the hands of Zverev in the final of the Rome Masters in 2017.
Zverev’s issue stemmed from his lower first serve percentage, 61% to 78%, and a woefully lower percentage of points won on his first serve, 53% to 83%. Djokovic, as a result, clinched four breaks of serves in the match, and completed that facile victory.
Djokovic had reached the semi-finals in Shanghai with wins over Jeremy Chardy, Marco Cecchinato and Kevin Anderson with only the latter having really pushed him. Anderson had taken the first set of their quarter-final into a tie-breaker but could do further damage to his opponent.
Zverev, who had gone into this match with 43 wins this year, which is the most for any player, had said he expected the match to be an exciting one but it clearly didn’t turn out that way.
The German will now take a break before moving to Basel to play his next tournament. He will follow that up with the last Masters in Paris before appearing in the year-ending World Tour Finals.
Djokovic, on the other hand, is now on a 17-match winning streak, having started that at the Cincinnati Masters. He won that title by beating Federer in the final before clinching the US Open. Another title win will make it three in a row and push him closer to that number one spot.