Novak is the 2018 Shanghai Masters champion!
Novak Djokovic claimed a record fourth Rolex Shanghai Masters title on Sunday.
The Serbian star was at his best at the Qi Zhong stadium, outplaying the first-time Masters finalist Borna Coric 6-3, 6-4 to seize his 32nd ATP Masters 1000 title, which moves him within one of Rafael Nadal for the most at the elite level.
Novak also claimed his 72nd career trophy, and boosted his already strong chance of finishing year-end world no.1 for the fifth time in his career.
It was another dominant week on the tour, as the Serb did not drop his serve in Shanghai.
Novak covered the court well in the final and kept his opponent under relentless pressure. He broke in the sixth game and clinched the 38-minute first set with a hold to love, having lost four service points overall.
Riding the wave of momentum, Novak made a break in the opening game of the second set and closed it out in one hour and 36 minutes.
“I want to thank you guys for making this event very special. This is definitely one of the most special ATP 1000 events in the world,” Djokovic said. “Back in 2008 I won my first Masters cup here and that opened a lot of doors for me and made me the player I am today. This is a special place for me. I want to congratulate Borna and his team on a great week. Tough match today but you showed to the world that we are going to see a lot more of your tennis at this level.”
“I would like to thank my team and my family back home. Everyone who has been supporting me. The last four months have been tremendous and I am very grateful to make so many great results all over the world. I am cherishing every moment. And last but not least, I want to thank the tournament organisers and all the volunteers,” Novak added.
Match statistics: aces (7-3), double faults (0-1), winners (18-20), unforced errors (17-38), total points won (72-52).
Djokovic, who is 11-0 in finals in China, has won 18 straight matches and 26 consecutive sets. En-route to the championship match, he beat Jeremy Chardy (6-3, 7-5), Marco Cecchinato (6-4, 6-0), Kevin Anderson (7-6, 6-3) and Alexander Zverev (6-2, 6-1).
Novak had previously captured the Shanghai title in 2012 (b. Murray), 2013 (b. Del Potro), and 2015 (b. Tsonga).
The 31-year-old Belgrade native will climb to no. 2 on Monday, and will move within 215 points of world no. 1 Rafael Nadal.
Novak now has a 45-10 record on the season and four titles in five finals.
Nole will next play at the Rolex Paris Masters event, taking place in Paris from October 29 to November 4. He won the trophy four times in 12 appearances in the French capital (2009, 2013-2015).