Shanghai semi-finals preview & predictions: Djokovic and Federer seek revenge on Zverev and Coric
The Shanghai Masters semi-final line-up has been set, with former champions Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic still in the mix.
Both enjoyed straight sets wins in their quarter-final ties and both will face an opponent who beat them in their last encounter.
Following the doubles semi-final on Center Court between Lukasz Kubot and Marcelo Melo against Oliver Marach and Mate Pavic – where the winner will face Jamie Murray and Bruno Soares – Djokovic will take on world No. 5 Alexander Zverev before Federer meets Borna Coric.
Here we take a look at the match-ups and predict the winners.
Shanghai Masters Saturday schedule
Kubot/Melo vs Marach/Pavic
Zverev v Djokovic
Federer v Coric
Novak Djokovic (2) vs Alexander Zverev (4)
Djokovic is in stunning form. The second seed is on a 16-match winning streak and has only lost one match since the start of July.
Hes looked ominously good in his opening three matches, with Jeremy Chardy, Marco Cecchinato and Kevin Anderson all being swatted aside.
But Zverev represents a far greater threat – particularly at this level.
While hes hardly set the world alight at Grand Slams, he has three Masters 1000 titles to his name already.
One of those victories – Rome, 2017 – came at Djokovics expense, with the 21-year-old putting the Serb to the sword in the final of the Italian Open.
Zverev can become just the third man to enjoy a 2-0 head-to-head record over the Serb, with Nick Kyrgios and the retired Marat Safin the other men to lead the 14-time Grand Slam champion by that margin.
Djokovic v Zverev Shanghai
R2: 6-3 7-5 Chardy
R3: 6-4 6-0 Cecchinato
QF: 7-6 6-3 Anderson
R2: 7-5 6-4 Basilashvili
R3: 6-1 6-4 De Minaur
QF: 6-4 6-4 Edmund
Zverev 1-0 Djokovic
Rome 2017: Zverev 6-4 6-3 Djokovic
Beating Djokovic this time around, though, is a very different test.
The 31-year-old appears to be close to the levels of his all-dominating 2015-2016 stretch and has his eyes firmly focused on catching Rafael Nadal to end the season as world No. 1.
A win over Zverev will move him up to second in the rankings above Federer, and it seems probable he will do just that.
Prediction: Djokovic in 3
Roger Federer (1) vs Borna Coric (13)
Federer has endured three tricky encounters on his way to this stage but looked to shake off the post-US Open rust in his impressive win over Kei Nishikori in the quarter-finals.
Hell hope to be finding form at just the right time so he can exact revenge on Coric, who surprisingly defeated him to deny the Swiss a 10th title in Halle, though he did look a little jaded in the back end of his win over Kei Nishikori.
Coric, too, suffered a little physically – requiring treatment on his thigh – but will be heading into the tie in a confident mood after some impressive wins over the likes of Stan Wawrinka and Juan Martin del Potro.
Federer v Coric Shanghai
R2: 6-4 4-6 6-4 Medvedev
R3: 6-3 2-6 6-4 Bautista Agut
QF: 6-4 7-6 Nishikori
R1: 4-6 6-4 6-3 Wawrinka
R2: 6-4 6-2 Klahn
R3: 7-5 (RET) Del Potro
QF: 7-5 6-4 Ebden
Federer 2-1 Coric
Halle 2018: Coric 7-6 3-6 6-2 Federer
The Croat has enjoyed a terrific week and is into the second Masters 1000 semi-final of his career.
In his first, he suffered a defeat to Federer at Indian Wells. Will history repeat itself again?
Prediction: Federer in 2