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Shanghai Masters Final Preview: Djokovic title-favourite after Federer crashes out to Coric

ANALYST
Preview
160   //    13 Oct 2018, 19:46 IST

Novak Djokovic is the overwhelming  favourite to lift the title after Federer crashes out
Novak Djokovic is the overwhelming favourite to lift the title after Federer crashes out

So, it was not to be. Not just those in Shanghai, but legions of tennis fans all around the world were looking forward to two of the greatest tennis players ever to have played the game, to lock horns against each other in the Shanghai Masters Final. Roger Vs. Novak was what the whole of tennis world was rooting for.

With the twenty-time grand slam champion Roger Federer nearing the end of his career, though still retaining much of the grace and beauty, if not consistency in his game, the fans worldwide want to see the Swiss maestro play as much they can. And with Roger’s long-time rival, Novak Djokovic already having booked a place in the final, fans were rooting for Roger to get it past the young Croatian Borna Coric and book his place in the title match.

That was not to be, though. Instead, it was the twenty-one-year-old Borna Coric whose game is often compared to that of Novak Djokovic, who booked his place in the final against his idol. On the evidence of today’s game where Coric played according to plan, never lost focus for a single moment, it seems we may actually have a competitive game in hand.

Djokovic demolished young Alexander Zverev in the first semi-final today which was as one-sided a match as one could be. He never gave Sascha a chance to challenge him at any point. Djokovic produced tennis of the highest quality, reminiscent of the halcyon days of not so long ago when he ruled the tennis world.

It seems the Serbian, after a brief hiatus from the game with lack of fitness and focus, is back to his very best. Having defeated the young German rather easily, he has a chance to do the same to another young next gen star in the Final.

He has already jumped to world number one replacing Roger Federer. Now his sight is firmly set on the world number. Winning the Shanghai masters will take him one step closer to replacing his other great rival, Rafael Nadal, as the year-end number one. That should work as an extra motivation for Djokovic in his quest for glory.

Coric may give a stiff challenge to Djokovic
Coric may give a stiff challenge to Djokovic

The much improved Borna Coric who is himself having a great year, his best so far in his nascent career, will do his best to thwart Djokovic. But with the kind of form and high level of play that Novak is producing right now, Coric may very well have to settle with a runner-up position in his first Masters 1000 tournament.

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ANALYST
For Amarjeet Nayak, sports is a part of life. From Federer, the "GoAT" to Sachin, the "God", he has lived the agony and ecstasy of his favourite sports persons along with them, but with the passage of time he has learnt to love sports a wee bit more than the sports persons. He understands that his favourite sports persons just play a small, but significant part in the glorious history of various sports, but no sports person is above sports. Though tennis takes up much of the time that he dedicates to sports, he keenly follows India's national pastime Cricket as well as football, badminton, hockey, and athletics, to name a few. As a sports analyst, he would like to be a part of the constant conversation about sports and sports persons. Through his sportskeeda columns, he would like to share his thoughts on various sports and sports persons, with his fellow sports lovers.
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