Unstoppable Djokovic Wins Shanghai, Eyes Year-End No. 1 Ranking

by Jeremy Davis | October 14th, 2018, 12:40 pm

Success keeps coming for Novak Djokovic, who continues what has to be one of, if not the most drastic turn-around seasons in Open Era history.

Djokovic through the first half of the year didn’t reach a semifinal until Rome in May, and lost first round in Indian Wells and Miami, and prior to the quarterfinals at Monte Carlo, Barcelona and Madrid. After breaking through for his first title of the year at Wimbledon, the Serb hasn’t looked back, and is now in the race to dethrone Rafael Nadal for the year-end No. 1 ranking.

On Sunday Djokovic won a record fourth Rolex Shanghai Masters title, in the final beating upstart and No. 13 seed Borna Coric 6-3, 6-4.

He has now won 18 straight matches, including the titles at Cincinnati and the US Open.

“Obviously the last three, four months have been terrific for me,” Djokovic said. “Not many holes in the game in general, especially this week. Everything worked perfectly.”

He is now 35 points behind Nadal, who is struggling to come off the sidelines after suffering a knee injury at the US Open.

Djokovic did not lose his serve all week (47 of 47) and improved to 27-1 since the start of Wimbledon losing only to Stefanos Tsitsipas in Canada.

“This was definitely one of the best service weeks that I’ve had in my career,” Djokovic said. “I was saying before that I have never played on faster courts here in Shanghai, so this year more than ever I needed a lot of success with the first serves in, and I have had plenty of success with first serves and high percent of first serves in every match. So obviously that brings me a lot of joy.”

He will move to No. 2 on the ATP rankings Monday, displacing Roger Federer who fell to Coric in the semifinals.

“I thought I was actually playing really well,” said Coric. “I’m feeling good on the court. I was not serving particularly well, but that’s also because I think he was returning extremely well. So I was going for a little bit more. I’m just happy with the whole week. I think it was a really good week for me, from basically me thinking on Monday morning I’m going to fly out on Monday evening after my first match [against Stan Wawrinka] to playing my first Masters 1000 final. It’s awesome. I need to take only positives from this week.”

Djokovic improved to 4-1 in finals this year and 72-31 career (11-0 in China). And Shanghai was his 32nd career Masters final. The 21-year-old Coric, who won the Halle title on grass earlier this year, fell to 2-3 in career finals. He was trying to beat Federer and Djokovic back-to-back.

You Might Like:
Unstoppable Laura Siegemund Wins 1st Career WTA Title, Prepares for Rio Olympics
Rafael Nadal Withdraws From China Events, Novak Djokovic In Prime Position For No. 1
Rafael Nadal: When Nick Kyrgios Tries, He’s One Of The Toughest Players On The Tour
Murray Eyes Asian Sweep, No. 3 Ranking In Shanghai
Andy’s Out

Don't miss any tennis action, stay connected with Tennis-X

Get the FREE TX daily newsletter

40 Comments for Unstoppable Djokovic Wins Shanghai, Eyes Year-End No. 1 Ranking

kriket Says:

The result was 63 – 64, not 64 – 64. Anyway, Novak was sublime the entire tournament, and since the Wimbledon really he’s been unplayable as they like to say. :)

chofer Says:


Delpo: broken kneecap. Finito.

Sad. Man, the guy’s bad luck it’s just staggerin.

chofer Says:

4 to 7 months. I don’t think he’s coming back.

Margot Says:

OMG chofer, how awful. Poor, poor guy.

chofer Says:

Yayy Margot. Crushing. He didn’t deserve this exit. Really. He was crushed today in TV. Emotionally destroyed.

chofer Says:

I want to finf my post before his match with Coric when I said HE SHOULD REIRE FROM THE TOURNAMENT. He can barely move because of the flu.

I’m a witch.

chofer Says:


chofer Says:
Delpo has a cold virus since last week, He played the final of Beijing fighting fever. I don’t understand why people who manages sites like these are so poorly informed about the players conditions. I don’t know why he has not retired yet, also. I supossed he’sm planning to rest before Basel and that he wouldn’t like to concede the points he has to defend here. But it’s a double-edge sword. That surely changes the luck the draw isn’t it?

October 10th, 2018 at 7:23 pm

RZ Says:

At this rate, Djokovic should win both the Comeback Player of the Year and the Player of the Year awards.

RZ Says:

Now that Tommy Haas has officially retired, it looks like DelPo will be the new president of the injury club. Poor guy.

Humble Rafa Says:

Definitely a contender for President of the Injury Club. Elf being hurt during Christmas season is painful for everyone.

chris ford1 Says:

1. Too bad for Juan Martin. He was playing very well at several tournaments this year and was going to have a well-deserved spot at the ATP Championships again and a good shot at some nice money and points before this happened.

2. Remarks on the Big 3/Big 4. It’s Big 4 if you look at the careers of the top players as how they group if it was a bike race.
You have Fed, Novak, and Rafa bunched up in a pack. Then 30 yards behind, Andy. And the rest of the pack, inc. Stan are 300 yards in back of Murray. It’s what Slams, Slam RUPs, 14 Masters and a bunch of RUPs there and a World Championship title and 2 gold medals gets. He is the only man in 15 years to crack the #1 ranking besides the 3, for 41 weeks, which puts him in 14th place all time and every title he has had he had to get it with Nads, Novak, Fed or all 3 in the mix.
In the bike race analogy, Andy is a lot closer to the three in front than his is close to the 5th best career player, and I believe those 3 have all said at one time or another Andy was a peer and therefore its the Big 4.

3. The Shanghai Final was Djokovic’s 1000th match as a pro in singles play. And he has done so well that a ton of additional records is in sight. Next big ones are getting and keeping #1 for a while, as he has no real points to defend save Rome the 1st half of the next year, Connors and Lendl’s marks will fall if he keeps it for a full year. He will try to tie Fed with 6 World Championships, and the way he is playing, I’d give him a decent shot at another non-calendar year Grand Slam.

AndyMira Says:

Much much congrats to Nole & his fans!…I knew time like this will happen again to him even when he still in dark moments 2 years ago…
And i think if he’s healthy & have no injury setback or suffered new injury…very very possible he will dominate again…for how long..not sure…

Now,very eager to wait for Andy to make the same success next year & forward…C’MON ANDYYY!!!

And of cozzzzzz….Rrrrafa too!!

AndyMira Says:

Chofer….So so sorry to hear about DelPo…very heartbreaking news …Commies to all DelPo fans…

Daniel Says:

Terrible news abput DelPo. Didn’t got to see any Shangai match this week travelling on vacation plus time zone. Hope he has the quickest recover.

J-Kath Says:

How sh-tty for Del Potro….the Gods have not been kind to him. His spirit is willing but his flesh is weak. Perhaps Novak’s stunning return to top tennis at age 31 will be an inspiration for him? Similarly Rafa who has also fought a number of body injuries.

Chris ford 1: Liked your “bike race analogy” re. Andy – and yes, he has consistently faced strong competition to carve out his place alongside Fed/Rafa/Novak, especially as he has a less than perfect sports-body, as does Del Potro.

Margot Says:

I liked CF’s bike race analogy too, very neat.

Wog Boy Says:

It looks like TX is in mourning since Wimbledon, what happened with all those knowledgeable posters who said they are first tennis fans and then fans, whera they to come and analyse and dissect Nole’s game like they were doing with certain ones game until AO 2018?
Andy’s fans were always genuine and not pretenders, they liked and respected Nole, some Rafa fans too (thank you AM) but 90% of certain one fans are fake fans and idolatrous.
Maybe they’ll prove me wrong and come and show us they are real fans and dissect for us this new Nole game, after all, they are the most knowledgeable tennis posters on TX, no?
You will regret if you miss the chance of commenting on the most complete player ever and the best player of his era, even if you have to swallow little bit of your pride, no biggie?
So, please post your opinion on this Nole, I am eager to read it and learn more about tennis, particularly since I haven’t been watching him since Chung debacle in January, I am waiting.

Wog Boy Says:

While I am waiting I will try to cheer you up with this joke sent to me by good friend of mine (good barrister too) of Lebanese decent, who still considers himself Lebanese even being secon generatin born here, though he prefers to say French Lebanese for whatever reason. His only comment after sending me this joke was this “That’s us”, and if you know Lebanese people that’s really them, so here is a joke and please cheer up, this Nole won’t last forever, Pepe is coming back;)

Donald trump wants to paint the white house..
He calls for quotation..
Chinese guy quoted 3 million. European guy quoted 7 million..
Lebanese guy quoted 10 million..
Trump asked chinese guy..”..how did u quote 3 million..?” Chinese guy replied .. “1 million for paint 1 million for labour 1 million profit..”

Trump asked european guy.. He replied-“.. 3 million for paint 2 million for labour 2 million profit..”

Trump asked Lebanese guy.. He replied..
..”..4 million for you.. 3 million for me.. .. .. and we will give 3 million to the chinese guy and ask him to paint..!!”

Lebanese got the contract !

Markus Says:

Nice to see Wog Boy talking all high and mighty again after badmouthing his God and impugning his wife, family and friends during his down days prior to Wimbledon. No bigger phone and hypocrite have ever graced this site.

Markus Says:

that’s supposed to be “phony”. Well Wog Boy would know.

Markus Says:

Maybe Wog Boy should review previous posts to find out who said the worst things about Djokovic prior to Wimbledon. You do have a very short memory Wog Boy.

J-Kath Says:

Markus: Why seek to present yourself as a trouble-maker? If you don’t like someone it’s much more powerful to ignore them. Even then, surely “painting the White House” brought a smile… and another smile at A-M’s “emoji7”.

Markus Says:

J-Kath, I don’t want to be a trouble maker that is why I hardly come to read and post here anymore. I only came back to recently to praise Djokovic for his recent win. Then I read Wog Boy being nasty and insulting to non-Djokovic fans when he himself, if you follow the comments here, is the one who kept saying the worst things about Djokovic, when he was struggling. He was even attacking Nole’s wife and brother. During that time, fans of other players were commiserating with his struggles and has nice words to Djokovic. Many of the fans of other players recognize and appreciate the talents of others. Wog Boy does not. He only praises Djokovic (obviously only when he is winning) and refuses the talents and accomplisments of others and worse insults them and their fans. Other “haters” of Feferers like Humble Rafa are not the same. HR is very obviously tongue-in -cheek. Wog Boy is what I said he is.

Giles Says:

Preach it JK preach it.

skeezer Says:

Preach it Markus.

J-Kath Says:

Okey-doke Markus.

Humble Rafa Says:

The media is so bad these days its unbelievable. Some young nameless writer is saying the Arrogant One got owned a few days ago. These young turks haven’t been around long enough to understand ownership. It’s a concept that takes a long time to understand.

Here is a primer.

1) Ownership is a matter of pride and privilege.
2) The owner and the owned understand the terms of ownership
3) Full respect must be bestowed upon the owner at all times.

Wog Boy Says:

Pretty disappointed, but then as expected, not really knowledgeable posts from the Cult members that claim to be most knowledgeable when it comes to tennis.

Due to the luck of responses I had to check with someone who is really knowledgeable and was known as not really to be Nole fan, this is what he had to say (after USO):
Even if he “only” has 14 (Slams), Nadal 17, Federer 20, in terms of the level of tennis being played consistently, I think Novak Djokovic has reached the ultimate.

“Better than Federer at his best, better than Nadal at his best. We have to put it this way.”


Mats Wilander, how dare you? This doesn’t really fit well with “the GOAT” bill, no?


Daniel Says:

Any official word of Nadal or Djoko will play Viena next week? Guess we’ll know for sure by the end of this week.

Wog Boy Says:

Nadal is not playing and tournament director has wishful thinking when it comes to Nole:


There is absolutely no need for Nole to play before Paris and he won’t play, my opinion.

rognadfan Says:

Well, Nadal and Nole seem to be ready to help Saudi Arabia to clean up the body chopping they did in turkey. If the news is true. Hope they both (show the middle finger to the murderers).Knowing them as players and the humanitarians they are, these guys are too good of human beings to take part in such a hypocritical show.

chris ford1 Says:

rognadfan – The ME is a tough place and for some reason much of the West is in love with Khashoggi as a persecuted and murdered ‘hero journalist” – vs. seeing him as the corrupt Islamist nephew of Adnan Khashoggi – the infamous arms dealer. And a spy, a terrorist supporter, and a man that has discussed how much better it would be if the Saudi royal family was deposed and a Daesh-like ruling structure replaced them.
It seems to be a case of some bad guys loyal to Prince Salman did him in through a bit too much enthusiasm in an interrogation. The “Magic Kingdom” operates on different rules. The West didn’t whine much when the Saudis “disappeared” a dozen royal family members found to be financially backing al Qaeda. Sometimes we like the Saudi way over endless due process and lawfare.

The West and it’s elite class does this – with not a peep about their beloved Globalist partner China converting Tibet, Xinjiang into hideous prison camps and making the natives a minority in their own lands by mass Han race transplantation. Because China trade and job outsourcing makes a good part of the Ruling Elites rich. But they are all over Russia for reclaiming Russian Crimea.

The selective morality of the West is the new “Great Game”.

rognadfan Says:

cf1, I agree on part of what you are saying.
But two things, Soudi regime is by far the most extreme and closest to a terrorist regime in the world, besides, of course the likes of Daesh and al quaeda. And everyone says Iran is the worst of them all, wrong.
The west is a great ally of that nation because? because oil and its money.
Regardless of who Khashoggi was and what his ancestry was, I am sure he didn’t want to replace saudi with ISIS, Saudi regime murdered him into pieces, there is no denying that. “Not some bad guys loyal to prince, but some guys paid by the bad guy the prince, did it.

I am with you on chinese ethnic cleansing and the west being silent.But that doesn’t mean such a blatant murder should go without any protest or anything.

It sounds like you are more ‘ok’ with what happened to Khassogi than the backlash Saudi’s have gotten from this cover-up. That too sounds like selective morality.

J-Kath Says:

The Saudis own quite a chunk of the posh houses in London, many of which are seconds away from Hyde Park – so if the UK Gov. handles the Khassogi situation similarily to the way they handled the Russian “poisoning”, London could have some rather nice housing available for the growing band of homeless…and if they freeze Saudi bank accounts our groaning National Health might be able to do a proper job again.

Margot Says:

Where’s that cheeky chappy who had an almighty goat me because I mentioned Isner was a
supporter of President Orange?

Humble Rafa Says:

Humble knows he is out of date on current topics.

The thread above shows how bad I general knowledge is. I have asked Uncle Toni to summarize world news for the last 10 years into 1 page, so I can understand.

Humble Rafa Says:

President Orange

Good people look past a person’s color, I am told. So you are no good.

Colin Says:

Nothing to do with this thread, or the big names, but I’m pleased to see that British No 1 Kyle Edmund has won his first ATP Tour title, beating Gayle Monfils in a tight match in Antwerp. Monfils is a veteran now, probably past his prime, but I expected he’d have too much experience and variety for Edmund.

Top story: Alcaraz Dominates Djokovic For 2nd Wimbledon Title, 4th Grand Slam