October 13, 2018 5:33:02 pm
No. 3-ranked Novak Djokovic will play for the Shanghai Masters title after crushing No. 5 Alexander Zverev 6-2, 6-1 in a near-flawless semifinal on Saturday. Djokovic’s serve has not been broken this week in 37 service games. He never offered Zverev a break point opportunity and broke the German’s serve on four of six offerings.
By the time Zverev was 6-2, 3-1 down, his emotions got the better of him as he hit a routine backhand into the net. He banged his racket to the ground, then gave it another swipe before tossing the mangled implement into the crowd.
Djokovic posted only nine unforced errors to 24 for Zverev. “I did everything I intended to do on my end,” Djokovic said. “It’s all working and it’s been a couple of perfect matches. There’s a lot of positives to take from my matches this week.”
Djokovic is targeting his 72nd career title here on Sunday. He has won all three of his previous finals in Shanghai. He awaits defending champion and top seed Roger Federer or Borna Coric of Croatia.
Djokovic played his 1,000th career match against Zverev and holds an impressive 827-173 win-loss record. He’s is on a 17-match winning streak and is 26-1 in matches played since the start of Wimbledon.
A win on Sunday would deliver a fourth title for the season to Djokovic, beside Wimbledon and the U.S. Open.
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