Wednesday, 16 October, 2019

Ruthless Novak Djokovic dispatches Alexander Zverev in Shanghai semis

Coric stuns Federer again to reach Shanghai Masters final Tennis Coric stuns Federer again to reach Shanghai Masters final Getty Images
Shannon Reynolds | 13 October, 2018, 18:37

Yet the eighth seed from Japan saw his advantage wiped out in a hurry as Federer roared back to set up a last-four clash with Borna Coric, who had defeated Australian Matthew Ebden 7-5 6-4 earlier in the day.

Roger Federer produced a vintage performance as he overcame a determined Kei Nishikori to reach the semi-finals of the Shanghai Masters.

"I knew I had to step it up too, and I was able to do it, so it's a good feeling to have, no doubt about it".

'It's going to be a very interesting match.' Zverev has now 43 matches this year, the highest amount on the ATP Tour.

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

The second set followed a similar pattern at the start, the 20-time grand slam victor taking the first game after creating a break-point opportunity with a sizzling backhand return.

The dominant Serb eased past Zverev 6-2 6-1 for his 44th victory of a remarkable year which has seen the 31-year-old win Wimbledon, the Cincinnati Masters and US Open in recent months, after having elbow surgery in February.

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Djokovic, who endured a turbulent last season with injury and off-court issues, said they were "both different players" now.

"He (Zverev) has improved a lot, and he has established himself as a top player", Djokovic said.

Interestingly, though, that match did have very close data - Federer had eight break points on return, compared to six for Nishikori - while only winning 52% of points in the match, a very low figure for a straight-set victory.

"I think, quite similar in style of play to today's match".

Zverev needed only one opportunity to break his opponent in either set as he became the fifth player to book his place at the season-ending ATP Finals in London.

About his co-operation with Ivan Lendl, Zverev added: 'We are still working together. There is still a lot more tennis going on till the end of the year.

"It's always easier to get there - but then staying there is always the tougher part".

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