Federer fires to join Djokovic in Shanghai semis

Federer fires to join Djokovic in Shanghai semis

Federer fires to join Djokovic in Shanghai semis

Federer, competing in his first ATP tournament since a shock last-16 exit at the U.S. Open, struggled for control against Coric's bludgeoning returns as the 13th seeded Croat clinched another early break to reach his first ATP Masters final.

Saturday's action in China saw Novak Djokovic and Borna Coric reach Sunday's final, and if we look at the match stats, Coric's 6-4 6-4 victory over Roger Federer was similarly as impressive as Djokovic's 6-2 6-1 triumph at the expense of Alexander Zverev.

There was a subtle shake of the head when Federer similarly lost his serve at the start of the second set.

"That then plays a role for the rest of the season, and that's it, I still don't know".

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"But for me serve was always, so to say, a hidden weapon, the shot in the game that is obviously very important, "the" most important".

Djokovic is targeting his 72nd career title here on Sunday. "I wouldn't be surprised, to be honest, with the way I feel here and the way I communicate and have relationship with the people".

Coric described Djokovic as a close friend.

The 31-year-old is in imperious form and this was his 17th ATP victory in a row, as he taught the rising German star a lesson.

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

A miss-hit Federer forehand gifted Coric the opening break of the second set for a 2-0 lead, before Coric pulled off an excellent lob and smashed an ace down the tee to move clear at 5-3.

Djokovic will be up to second in the world when the new rankings are released on Monday, but he is desperate to take injured Rafael Nadal's number one spot before the year is out.

Djokovic, who endured a turbulent last season with injury and off-court issues, said they were "both different players" now.

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The third-ranked Djokovic taught Zverev a lesson.

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