Published: Thu, October 18, 2018
Sports | By Johanna Francis

Novak Djokovic sees off Borna Coric to close gap on Rafael Nadal

Novak Djokovic sees off Borna Coric to close gap on Rafael Nadal

Novak Djokovic was in clinical mood again as he brushed aside the challenge of Borna Coric to seal his fourth title at the Shanghai Masters on Sunday.

He is now 20-6 at Masters 1000 tournaments this year - second only to Zverev (22-7) for most match wins - and also won Western and Southern Open silverware in August with a 6-4, 6-4 victory over Federer to become the first player to capture all nine Masters 1000 titles since the tournament series was established in 1990.

The 31-year-old will leapfrog Roger Federer into second in the world when the rankings are released on Monday but will not stop there as the season reaches its climax.

The 14-time Grand Slam victor spoke to Xinhua in an exclusive interview after the match, saying that the last three or four months have been "phenomenal", and his family has helped him to overcome adversity after the lackluster start to the season.

Giving it his all, he went onto save three championship points to break Djokovic and make it 5-4.

Victory means Djokovic's winning streak now stands at 18 matches as he closes to just 35 points behind world leader Nadal in the race to be No. 1 after the season-ending ATP Finals in London.

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Djokovic, whose serve has been particularly dominant of late and did not drop a single service game in Shanghai, told reporters: "You're seeing the new Novak".

The second set followed a similar pattern and, while Coric improved, he was unable to deny Djokovic a fourth Shanghai Masters title. The last four months had been "fantastic" and "tremendous", he said. "Not many holes in the game in general, especially this week." he added.

"I was looking up to him since I was really, really young", he said, calling the upset over Federer one of his best results. With the real battle in front of him come the final, Coric stumbled at the last hurdle to hand over Djokovic the trophy with relative ease. I think I can learn a lot from this match.

"I found it and I'm just trying to hold on to it as long as I can". "I'm going to decide with my team in a few days", Djokovic said.

"I thought he was better, he had more chances than I had".

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