Shanghai Masters: Novak Djokovic beats Borna Coric to extend winning run

Roger Federer

Celebrating his 1,000 match in style, the 14-time Grand Slam victor was clinical as he lined up a potential title showdown on Sunday with reigning champion Roger Federer.

And Shanghai was his 32nd career Masters final.

Top seed Federer plays 13th seed Borna Coric of Croatia in the other semi-final.

Federer has not been at his best all week, dropping sets in the two opening matches of his wobbly title defence.

The defending champion reached the semifinals Friday by beating eighth-seeded Kei Nishikori 6-4, 7-6 (4).

There was a subtle shake of the head when Federer similarly lost his serve at the start of the second set. "This was definitely one of the best service weeks that I've had in my career", Djokovic, who did not drop his serve during the tournament, said.

"It was the same length, actually, as all three of my matches went the same length basically, an hour and 52 (minutes)", Federer said.

"And please stop asking me, I really don't know".

I was not serving particularly well, but that's also because I think he was returning extremely well.

"I am very close now to Nadal in the rankings and put myself in a good position for the last period of the year".

In contrast, Coric - who is into his first Masters 1000 final - was largely untroubled on his serve.

Federer has won three titles this year - the Australian Open, Rotterdam, Stuttgart - but all of them were earned before the start of Wimbledon in July.

Djokovic, this year's Wimbledon and US Open victor, will next face Germany's Alexander Zverev in the last four.

The final will be played on Sunday in China.

He also dispensed of three-time Grand Slam victor and Federer's fellow Swiss Stan Wawrinka in his opening match.

The 31-year-old is in imperious form and this was his 17th ATP victory in a row, as he taught the rising German star a lesson.

Second seed Djokovic, who has returned to his brutal best this season with Grand Slam wins at Wimbledon and the U.S Open, will surpass Federer as world number two when the next edition of the ATP rankings are released on Monday.

The last four months had been "fantastic" and "tremendous", he said.

"Hello everybody, I don't want to make Borna look bad", Djokovic told the crowd, before speaking in fluent Mandarin.

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