ATP Shanghai: Flawless Borna Coric topples Roger Federer in straight sets

Federer added his voice to the debate around the new-format Davis Cup when quizzed after beating Roberto Bautista Agut to reach the Shanghai quarter-finals

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Novak Djokovic's return to the summit of world tennis appears nearly inevitable after he booked his place in the final of the Shanghai Masters following a straight sets victory over Alexander Zverev. 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.

The 31-year-old from Serbia is in blistering form, winning Wimbledon, the Cincinnati Masters and US Open in recent months, after having elbow surgery in February.

The 21-year-old Borna Coric has become the first player born in 1996 who reached the Masters 1000 final after a picture flawless 6-4 6-4 triumph over the top seed and defending champion Roger Federer in an hour and 13 minutes!

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'm just cherishing that achievement and every moment spent on the court". The fourth seed, 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.

Zverev won his only encounter against Djokovic, in the 2017 Rome final.

Yet he made an aggressive start against Nishikori to take a 4-1 lead in the opening set.

"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".

Zverev will next play second-seeded Djokovic in the semifinals.

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Djokovic's win over Zverev and Federer's demise guaranteed Djokovic will move up from No 3 to No 2 in the world on Monday, which has him swapping positions with Federer, but still trailing Rafael Nadal.

"It was a different surface", Djokovic said of their previous match.

"But also he has improved a lot and he has established himself as a top player".

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 just think his mindset and movement was fantastic.

Regardless of what happens over the coming weeks, former British No.1 Greg Rusedski feels Djokovic is comfortably the best player in the world at present.

"Against that kind of player, you need something to hold on to, " he said.

'You are always trying to stay centered and balanced.

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