Thanks for the les­son

Ir­re­sistible Djokovic schools Zverev to reach Shang­hai fi­nal

The Star Malaysia - - Sport -

SHANG­HAI: No­vak Djokovic lined up a po­ten­tial ti­tle show­down with Roger Fed­erer af­ter dis­man­tling a shell­shocked Alexan­der Zverev 6-2, 6-1 to surge into the Shang­hai Masters fi­nal.

The 20-time Grand Slam win­ner and reign­ing cham­pion Fed­erer plays 13th seed Borna Coric of Croa­tia in yes­ter­day’s other semi-fi­nal.

Ser­bia’s Djokovic, 31, is in im­pe­ri­ous form, win­ning 16 ATP matches in a row com­ing into the clash with Zverev, a ris­ing star of ten­nis.

The third-ranked Djokovic taught Zverev a les­son. The 21-year-old Ger­man made an iffy start, be­gin­ning his first ser­vice game with a dou­ble-fault.

The world num­ber five – who beat 14-time Grand Slam cham­pion Djokovic in their only pre­vi­ous meet­ing, last year in the Rome Masters fi­nal – re­cov­ered his poise for a time.

The first set went with serve, and some big serves at that, un­til Djokovic grabbed the break to go 4-2 up.

Zverev threat­ened to un­ravel and con­ceded the set in barely 30 min­utes af­ter land­ing a rou­tine smash into the net, to gasps from the arena.

The young Ger­man, who is yet to win a Grand Slam de­spite his un­doubted tal­ent, an­grily threw his rac­quet at the start of the sec­ond set as Djokovic ramped up the pres­sure.

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.

— AP

Sharp: No­vak Djokovic hits a re­turn shot to Alexan­der Zverev dur­ing their men’s sin­gles semi-fi­nals match in the Shang­hai Masters yes­ter­day.

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