Dazzling Djokovic dismantles Zverev to earn ranking rise

Tanya Simon
October 13, 2018

Djokovic and Zverev met on clay in the final of the Rome Masters in May last year, the 21-year-old German winning 6-4, 6-3. 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.

"I was looking up to him since I was really, really young", he said, calling the upset over Federer one of his best results.

Unfortunately, that's also the case for Federer's match with Coric. "There were no weaknesses present". 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. "I've always played him when he's playing well, but I'll hope I can take it to him".

"Serving, I think, it's okay, could be even a little bit better. He is a quick leaner and an intelligent human being and I think the composure he is now showing [is proof] that he is ready to take his tennis to another level".

"I was just feeling through the ball", Coric said.

The 31-year-old Serb saved a set point against Anderson in an intense opener, before taking control in the tiebreak.

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The soon-to-be-No 2-ranked Djokovic booked a final appointment after crushing No 5 Alexander Zverev 6-2, 6-1.

For this first match, Djokovic is a solid [1.37] favourite to make the final, and rather surprisingly for two top-five players, they've only had one previous meeting, which Zverev took on the clay in Rome a year ago without facing a single break point.

Djokovic, who endured a turbulent last season with injury and off-court issues, said they were "both different players" now. You need to direct the focus where it matters. In addition, Coric did enough on the return, winning 34% o the points in Roger's games and converting two out of seven break points to secure the win in straight sets and set Novak Djokovic clash in Sunday's final.

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.

Touted as a potential future multiple Grand Slam victor, fourth seed Zverev eased past Kyle Edmund to reach his first Shanghai semi-final.

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

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