Shanghai Masters 2018 Semi-Finals: Coric stops Federer while Djokovic thrashes Zverev
After a blockbuster day at the Quarter-Finals of the 2018 Shanghai Masters, it was time to determine the men who will play the last match on Asian soil this season.
And there were two Next Gen stars taking on the two stalwarts of the men’s game for a spot in Sunday’s showpiece final.
First up, it was the 14-time Grand Slam Champion Novak Djokovic who took on Germany’s finest, Alexander’s Zverev, and it was a beatdown as the Serb dismantled the German’s game with a 6-2, 6-1 win to march into yet another Masters 1000 final.
Both players started the match playing well on serve as they have done all tournament.
But then at 2-2, Zverev played a poor game with 3 unforced errors and 1 double fault to hand the break advantage to Djokovic.
And Djokovic, as he has been all week, was just too solid on serve and took a 5-2 lead in no time.
Then, 2-5 down, Zverev played another poor game as he simply couldn’t find a way past Djokovic’s defences and smashed an easy overhead into the net to lose the opening set.
The second set was even more disheartening for the German as Djokovic yet again went into lockdown mode, while Zverev had no answer to the Serb’s depth, precision and consistency, both off the ground and the serve.
And hence the frustration kept on mounting, resulting in racket smashes and screams at his box as Djokovic gave yet another solid statement that he’s not only back, but back better than ever.
Most people will think that Zverev played an extremely poor match. Yes, he played a poor match, but most of it was to do with “The Djokovic Effect” as the Serb was just simply imperious.
Wherever Zverev hit his serve, it came back with interest. The harder he hit the ball, it came back even harder. The deeper he hit the ball, it came back with even more depth.
Djokovic today was like the Great Wall of China to Zverev, as he just didn’t give any space to the German at all and he didn’t know how, and from where, to hit past the Serb, leading to most of his errors and frustration.
With today’s win, Djokovic will now take over Federer as the World No. 2, when the new rankings come out on Monday, regardless of whatever happens in the Final.
In the second semi-final, it was Croatia’s Borna Coric who took on Roger Federer and he stunned the Swiss Maestro with a very impressive 6-4, 6-4 victory to set up a date with Novak Djokovic in the final.
Coric started the match perfectly, breaking Federer’s serve in the very first game with some great power and depth off both wings.
The Croat kept pegging on Roger's backhand, extracting out errors from that wing, while serving with consistent power and precision, taking the opening set 6-4, without facing a break point.
The same thing happened at the start of the second set, where again Coric kept on attacking the Federer backhand to go up a break straight away.
The Croatian yet again served with immaculate pace and accuracy to keep the Swiss at bay, while putting pressure on Federer's serve consistently.
Then, at 5-4, while serving for the match, Coric faced a tricky situation, going down 15-30, but came up with 2 brilliant, unreturned serves and closed out the match to cap off arguably his best serving performance, especially given the big stage, to reach his first Masters 1000 final and spoiled the party for a blockbuster showdown between Djokovic and Federer.