Coric upsets Federer, facing Djokovic in Shanghai final
Borna Coric upset defending champion Roger Federer to face Novak Djokovic in the Shanghai Masters final today.
Coric earned passage to the final by taking down the top-seeded Federer 6-4, 6-4 in the semifinals yesterday.
“It was one of the best matches of my life,” Coric said.
The Croatian gave himself a third career shot at Djokovic. In their previous meetings, Coric failed to take a set off Djokovic.
The soon-to-be-No. 2-ranked Djokovic booked his final appointment after crushing No. 5 Alexander Zverev 6-2, 6-1.
Federer has won three titles this year - the Australian Open, Rotterdam, Stuttgart - but all of them were earned before the start of Wimbledon in July.
Coric finished off Federer in style with the final two points being an ace and a sizzling forehand crosscourt winner.
Coric didn’t offer Federer a break point opportunity, while managing to break Federer’s serve in the opening game of both sets. In all, Federer presented Coric with seven beak point possibilities.
Coric, who is 2-2 against Federer, also beat the 20-time Grand Slam champion in their last outing at Halle in June.
Djokovic’s win over Zverev and Federer’s demise guaranteed he will move up from No. 3 to No. 2 in the world rankings on Monday, which has him swapping positions with Federer, but still trailing No. 1 Rafael Nadal.
Djokovic’s serve has not been broken this week in 37 service games. He never offered Zverev a break point opportunity, and broke the German’s serve on four of six offerings.
By the time Zverev was 6-2, 3-1 down, his emotions got the better of him as he hit a routine backhand into the net. He banged his racket to the ground, then gave it another swipe before tossing the mangled implement into the crowd.
Djokovic posted only nine unforced errors to 24 for Zverev.
“I did everything I intended to do on my end,” Djokovic said. “It’s all working and it’s been a couple of perfect matches.”
Djokovic is targeting his 72nd career title here on Sunday. He has won all three of his previous finals in Shanghai.
Djokovic played his 1,000th career match against Zverev and holds an impressive 827-173 winloss record.
“I wouldn’t be so dedicated to this sport if I didn’t believe that I can achieve great heights,” Djokovic said. “But you always have to kind of pinch yourself, particularly at this stage of my career, and be grateful because in the end of the day, I did have an awesome career so far that has blessed me with a lot of great achievements.”
He’s is on a 17-match winning streak and is 26-1 in matches played since the start of Wimbledon.
A win today would deliver a fourth title for the season to Djokovic, besides Wimbledon and the US Open.
Novak Djokovic of Serbia gestures to spectators after winning his men’s singles semifinals match against Alexander Zverev of Germany