Shanghai Masters 2018: Novak Djokovic sets up mouth watering semi-final clash with Alexander Zverev
After a very busy day at the Shanghai Masters 2018 in the Round of 16, it was time for the business end of the tournament and to decide who will end up in the final weekend of the Asian Swing this season.
And first up, it was Alexander Zverev who took on British No. 1 Kyle Edmund and it was the German who came up with another clean display, overpowering the Brit in a 6-4, 6-4 victory to reach the semi-finals in emphatic fashion.
Edmund got off to a shaky start, making 2 double faults in the very first game, and Zverev pounced on the opportunity to get off to the best possible start.
The Brit played much better after that and had a few opportunities at 30-30 on Zverev’s deliveries but failed to capitalize on any of those as the German was a little too solid from the back of the court and took the first set 6-4.
The second set started with both players playing well on serve, when at 2-2, Zverev played an excellent return game to break Edmund’s serve at love.
And just like the first set, the German was too solid on his serve and closed out the match with ease to reach yet another Masters 1000 semi-final and in doing so, also confirmed his spot in the year end ATP World Tour Finals for a second year in a row.
He sets up a mouthwatering clash with US Open champion Novak Djokovic who put on an absolute clinic to defeat Kevin Anderson 7-6(1), 6-3 to sail through to the semi-finals.
For most of the first set, it was the Serb who was putting all the pressure on Anderson’s service games, while handling his side of things nicely with great precision.
But Anderson came up with some huge serves whenever in trouble to bail himself out.
And just when it looked like a tie-break was inevitable, it was the big South African who made inroads into the Djokovic service game at 5-6, with some good returns and penetrating backhands, to earn himself a set point.
But Djokovic held his ground with some clutch baseline play and serving to get himself into the breaker.
In the tiebreak, it was all Djokovic as he looked dialled-in and refused to miss anything, and with the help of a couple of backhand errors from Anderson, sailed through the breaker 7-1 to take the opening set.
In the second set, Djokovic rode the momentum and got himself into lockdown mode, winning 22 of the last 25 points to take a 3-0 lead.
After that, there was no stopping Djokovic as he held on to the rest of his service games with imperious serving, along with great depth and precision on the groundstrokes, to close out the set 6-3 and march into his 8th Shanghai Masters semi-final.