Djokovic masters Coric to reign in Shangai
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Novak Djokovic collected his fourth title of the year following a 6-3 6-4 win over Borna Coric in the final of the Shanghai Masters on Sunday. The 31-year-old Serb will move to within 35 points of world number one Rafael Nadal following his performances in China.
“The last four months have been fantastic,” said Djokovic of his Grand Slam victories at Wimbledon and the US Open as well as a Masters crown in Cincinnati.
"I'm cherishing every moment of it. I could not ask for a better scenario. I am very close now to Nadal in the rankings and put myself in a good position for the last period of the year."
After missing the last part of 2017 with injuries and then undergoing elbow surgery in February, Djokovic’s ranking fell to 22 during the spring.
But he has worked his way back up with 18 consecutive victories.
With 21-year-old Coric appearing for the first time at a Masters final, Djokovic, who was contesting his 45th, started as the overwhelming favourite despite Coric’s straight sets dismissal of top seed Roger Federer in Saturday’s semi-final.
But Coric was unable to repeat his pyrotechnics against a steelier opponent. Djokovic broke the 13th seed in the sixth game of the first set and claimed it after 38 minutes.
Coric’s wayward forehand volley gave Djokovic the break of serve at the start of the second set. And though the Croatian saved three match points while serving at 3-5 down, it only delayed the inevitable.
It was Djokovic's 32nd win at a Masters tournament - considered just below the Grand Slams in terms of prestige - and the 72nd of his career on the senior circuit.