Djokovic beats Zverev to reach Shanghai final, secures World No.2 ranking

Rex Christensen
October 13, 2018

Celebrating his 1,000 match in style, the 14-time Grand Slam victor was clinical as he lined up a potential title showdown on Sunday with reigning champion Roger Federer.

Top seed and defending champion Roger Federer returned to form to beat Japan's Kei Nishikori 6-4 7-6 (4) and reach the Shanghai Masters semi-finals on Friday.

Three-time Shanghai Open victor Novak Djokovic stormed past German Alexander Zverev 6-2 6-1 to reach the final today and claim the world number two ranking from Roger Federer.

Roger produced more damage with his first serve and he repelled four out of five break points to keep the pressure on Novak, winning 40% of the return points and stealing rival's serve three times from four opportunities to wrap up the match in straight sets. Interestingly, Novak was more efficient in the shortest points where Roger should have had the edge but he failed to deliver his best tennis in those extended exchanges where he couldn't put Federer's backhand under more pressure and emerge as the victor.

Second seed Djokovic broke early to take a 2-0 lead when his South African opponent found the net with a backhand. That was all Federer needed to seal the opener, firing three winners in the following game for a 7-5 after a grueling 63 minutes.

There was a subtle shake of the head when Federer similarly lost his serve at the start of the second set. "Serving, I think, it's okay, could be even a little bit better".

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"And where I was about four months ago and where I am today is quite an extreme opposite".

To reduce this performance just to his serve would be unfair.

"I don't think I played a match where I didn't get broken, so that's something a bit more unusual for me".

"It's all working and it's been a couple of ideal matches".

In recent months, Saudi Arabia has hosted a series of global sports events such as the World Boxing Association super middleweight boxing bout between Britain's Callum Smith and George Groves in Jeddah, WWE's Greatest Royal Rumble, as well as its first-ever worldwide motorsport event, featuring stars from Formula One, World Rally Championship, IndyCar, NASCAR, sportscars and touring cars, World Chess championship, first European Tour Golf event, and Four-Team worldwide Football Tournament featuring Brazil, Argentina, Saudi Arabia and Iraq.

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