Novak Djokovic lined up a potential title showdown with Roger Federer after dismantling a shell-shocked Alexander Zverev 6-2, 6-1 on Saturday to surge into the Shanghai Masters final. This was the second win for Borna over Roger in four matches and the second in a row, scoring a win in the final of Halle and continuing his run over the 20-time Grand Slam champion in what has been one of his best performances ever on hard courts.
Djokovic, who has won the last two Grand Slams, at Wimbledon and the U.S. Open, is now world number three, but could move up a spot if he books a place in Sunday's final.
The 21-year-old Borna Coric has become the first player born in 1996 who reached the Masters 1000 final after a picture ideal 6-4 6-4 triumph over the top seed and defending champion Roger Federer in an hour and 13 minutes!
He is desperate to take injured Rafael Nadal's number one spot before the year is out, and on this evidence, he will.
Croatian 21-year-old Borna Coric celebrates his surprise win over Roger Federer.
"I'm just cherishing that achievement and every moment spent on the court".
Djokovic saved set point in the opener before taking control of the tie break and the second set to dump out the South African seventh seed.
"I thought he was better". He has won all three of his previous finals in Shanghai.
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The Serbian was stunned by the Italian - ranked 72 in the world at the time - in the French Open quarter-finals earlier this year. Federer's large cheering squad - decked out in matching red T-shirts - looked on in disbelief as Medvedev grabbed the second set.
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The 21-year-old Zverev was off-colour most the match and bad tempered at times, angrily throwing his racquet at the start of the second set as Djokovic ramped up the pressure.
Djokovic, who endured a turbulent last season with injury and off-court issues, said they were "both different players" now. "It's going to be definitely a close match".
The 6-4, 6-4 victory over the 11th-seeded Briton seals Zverev's place in the season-ending ATP Finals in London next month, which bring together the top eight men.
"He (Zverev) has improved a lot, and he has established himself as a top player", Djokovic said.
Zverev, now under the tutelage of Ivan Lendl, said he is pleased with his overall progress, even if a maiden Grand Slam remains elusive.
"I don't think I played a match where I didn't get broken, so that's something a bit more unusual for me".
"It was one of the best matches of my life", said Coric, who had nearly skipped the tournament due to neck pain.
"It's always easier to get there - but then staying there is always the tougher part". You need to direct the focus where it matters.