Coric up­sets Fed­erer, fac­ing Djokovic in Shang­hai fi­nal

The Malta Independent on Sunday - - SPORT -

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.

Photo: AP

No­vak Djokovic of Ser­bia ges­tures to spec­ta­tors af­ter win­ning his men’s sin­gles semi­fi­nals match against Alexan­der Zverev of Ger­many

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