Coric Stops Federer, Will Meet Djokovic For Shanghai Title

by Staff | October 13th, 2018, 11:11 pm

Borna Coric advanced to the biggest final of his career eliminating defending champion Roger Federer 6-4, 6-4 in the Shanghai semifinals.

“It’s one of the best matches I have ever played. I was just feeling through the ball,” Coric said. “I think I served the best in my life, for sure. I was going for the angles. I was going for the body. Everything was going in. No, that’s much above my standard level. I mean, my standard level nowadays is better than in the last year, that’s for sure. But again, to say this is my normal level, no, it’s not, for sure.”

The win put the 21-year-old Croat into his first Masters final, and negated a Federer-Novak Djokovic title match. It was also Coric’s second straight win over the Swiss after Halle.

“It’s absolutely there. If not the best, then it’s in the Top 2, Top 3,” Coric said of his win. “It’s really something special. Like I said when I was coming here this tournament, actually, my neck was a little bit stiff and I was actually a little bit thinking of even pulling out of the tournament. I was not playing well. I was not feeling well. And I didn’t really know how it’s going to turn out.

“I just said to myself, ‘Okay, I have nothing to lose.’ I did probably hundred times more than what I expected.”

Federer, who was seeking a third Shanghai title, hasn’t held up a tour trophy since Stuttgart in June.

“I thought he was better. I think he had more punch on the ball. He served better. I think that’s it,” said Federer. “The rest, he had more chances than I had. I got off to a bad start in both sets. That combination is plenty here in Shanghai with fast conditions.”

Earlier, 3-time champion Djokovic pounded a listless Alexander Zverev 6-2, 6-1 to return to the No. 2 ranking along with the Shanghai final.

“It’s important and I am grateful that I have this achievement. I’m proud of it,” said Djokovic of No. 2. “Obviously I worked hard for it, and my ultimate goal is to get to No. 1 by the end of the year. I’m in a good way.

“Being No. 2 after this tournament is also a great achievement, considering the first four or five months of the year and considering I had the surgery. Where I was about four months ago and where I am today is quite an extreme opposite. I’m just cherishing that achievement and every moment spent on the court.”

Djokovic, who was playing in his 1,000th career match, has now won 17 straight matches and 26 of his last 27, plus his last 24 sets. And he hasn’t dropped serve all week en route to his fourth Shanghai final.

Zverev had beaten Djokovic in Rome, but couldn’t find the range today, especially on his serve.

“I got to the semifinals here, which I’m very happy about… I have still got big tournaments ahead of me,” said Zverev. “I qualified for London, which is positive. There are still positive things. I have been in the semi-finals of a Masters once again. This is my fifth this year out of eight [semifinals], and there is one more still to come.”

Coric will have to consecutive beat Federer then Djokovic to claim his first Masters title. He’s 0-2 against the Serb. And Djokovic is a perfect 10-0 in finals in China.

“He’s one of the hardest-working guys on the tour,” said Djokovic of Coric. “He puts a lot of effort into practice. He’s one of the leaders of the new generation. He’s played some great tennis so far this week.”

The last eight Shanghai titles have gone to the Big 4. Coric will try to buck the trend tomorrow.

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22 Comments for Coric Stops Federer, Will Meet Djokovic For Shanghai Title

Andy Mira Says:

Hey Sean…the final is today right?No thread to pick the winner?Or is it bcoz Fed is already out so u don’t have the mood to make one?Ohoohohoho!….Hehehe…sorry Sean,can’t help from teasing u…

Van Persie Says:

This Nole looked like 2015’s Nole diring entire week.

Van Persie Says:

^^ during, not diring

Andy Mira Says:

Nole in straight of cozzzzz….

Van Persie Says:

Of course..Djokosmash at MP :D

Van Persie Says:

4th title in Shanghai and Nole ia very close now to be Nr. 1 again. Nice

FedExpress Says:

Coric absolute garbage. No GS material. Won win anything major.

J-Kath Says:


Coric is pretty young – has a lot of time in front of him – think it is much too soon to write him off.

J-Kath Says:

Van Persie:
“He came, he saw and conquered.”
Personally think the “roll” he’s on could last a long time.

Margot Says:

Well played Nole! Playing like this, not going to be beaten anytime soon.
The good news for Coric is that he can improve and, hopefully losing to Nole, will give him some incentive to do so. Commies mentioned how he had changed his court position fromthe last tournament. Really liked his attitude, never let himself be disheartened,but kept plugging away. Unlike Sascha, gotta say.
RZ: Might have to add Borna The Bod to my collection of beauxs…;)
FedExpress: You always seem to rubbish whoever loses to Nole, refusing to acknowledge how he is playing. I find that a bit churlish.

FedExpress Says:

He played well Nole.Best player in the world right now. without question. But no real opposition so far.

If Federer/Nadal havv
e taken advantages of injuries of Murray and Nole then Nole is doing it same.

Margot Says:

FedExpress: Not really Nole’s fault if this is the case.
I remember Andy saying that playing in the Fedal epoch had made him a better player, so really hoping these young players can rise to the challenge too.

Markus Says:

While everybody is arguing as to who is GOAT between Federer and Nadal, Djokovic steps aside and shows everybody who is the Perfect Player. That’s his alone, no other player can stake a claim to that.

FedExpress Says:

Perfect player? How you define a perfect player?

chofer Says:


Morning. You’re absolutely right on including Kei among the group of former skinny guys who got the gym and end up often injured. Good point!

BTW I’m seeing the match recorded. Knowing the outcome, the only thinhg left to say is that Djokovic will try to end up number one over Rafa. Paris and the Masters should be compelling. The last time that happened was 2000. When Guga Kuerten and Marat Safin went toe to toe until the very end.

Van Persie Says:


Let’s see. He’s 31 now, could be the young generation will be fed up with this “old guy’s” domination. Hope he will continue at least this year as he started after the clay season though. Andy, DelPo and Stan might have one word to say in 2019. Rafa still Nr. 1.

Van Persie Says:


In 2016 we had the Nr. 1 decided by the very last match at the WTF: Andy and Nole.

chris ford1 Says:

A mark of the champion Djokovic is, Markus, is he would be the 1st to disagree with you. He has commented that he can never be perfect as a player or a person – but his life is all about striving to try and get better. (and he said that in his pre-Pepe days).

Also about tough decisions – shifting to perhaps not be as good on his backhand DTL, but working more on knowing what to do in the forecourt and at net, less backhand winners to go with a percentage game of playing the angles and waiting for the error or the short ball. Letting his German language skills rust but getting to being fluent in French and Spanish.

Giles Says:

“ Borna the Bod”, lol. Whatever that means.

chofer Says:

Van Persie

Right! I forgot about that! Thanks.

Django Says:

What’s with the flags at the ceremony? US, Spain, Canada, Polish, Italy and France.

J-Kath Says:

Van Persie:

“he (Nole)started after the clay season though”. Nole can start every year in the same way and still be in contention for No. 1. Though Rafa remains the favourite on clay (+ Stan).

In my view Nole is back to stay; I’m less certain about Fed’s ability being 37+; Andy – doubt he can return as well as Nole – but counting on him being competitive; Rafa – (being 5 years younger than Fed. will be OK). Del Porto (now 30?)can throw a few spanners as can some of the younger guys – all of which makes it anyone’s guess.

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