Borna Coric thought about Shanghai withdrawal, then defeated Roger Federer

Borna Coric thought about Shanghai withdrawal, then defeated Roger Federer

A forehand volley error from Coric gifted Djokovic the opening game of the second set, but the Croatian did well to save four break points in the third game that lasted 11 minutes.

And few would now bet against the Wimbledon and Flushing Meadows champion with the ATP Finals in London approaching, his ruthless efficiency having sapped Coric's energy as the final wore on.

The door was opened for Djokovic to return to No.1 for the first time since October 2016 when Nadal revealed he would skip the Asian swing with a knee injury.

"I had to reinvent myself and find, you know, (a) proper formula for success". I'm just happy with the whole week. For this indicator, the 31-year-old Serb is ahead of only the current leader of the world rankings Rafael Nadal, whose 33 title.

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

It is all a far cry from just five months ago, when Djokovic fell to 22nd in the world as he struggled following elbow surgery in February.

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He also missed the second half of 2017 with elbow and off-court issues. He did not have his serve broken throughout the tournament.

"I don't need to describe him, that's all I can say". So this was definitely one of the best service weeks that I had in my career. The last four months had been "fantastic" and "tremendous", he said.

Finally, the Serbian managed to win the tenth game and the set against an aggressive Coric, who has been the breakout star of the tournament, especially after defeating Federer 6-4, 6-4 on Saturday.

"It's phenomenal, I'm very proud of it", Djokovic told the ATP website. Ten years on, Djokovic has won more championships in Shanghai than any other tennis player and he is very grateful for his Chinese fans.

Federer won the Australian Open at the start of this year but has had a mediocre season by his sky-high standards.

Not so Novak Djokovic, who made no effort during several interviews at the Rolex Shanghai Masters to hide his ambitions of reclaiming his status as the best player in the world.

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