Federer falls to Coric in final four of Shanghai Masters
Coric completed a memorable 6-4 6-4 victory to reach a first ATP Masters series final.
Croatian Coric broke Federer in the opening game of the match, and continued his momentum to open up a 3-1 lead.
The world number 19 closed out the first set 6-4 and immediately went on the front foot again with another early break.
Coric, 21, completed a memorable 6-4 6-4 victory in just under one hour and 14 minutes to reach a first ATP Masters series final.
It was the first match in more than three years in which Federer has failed to create a break point, and he admitted Coric was simply too good, saying on atpworldtour.com: “I thought he was better.
“I think he had more punch on the ball. He served better. I think that’s it. He had more chances than I had. I got off to a bad start in both sets.”
Coric, who lost only nine points on serve all match, surprised himself with his level, saying: “It’s one of the best matches I have ever played.
“I was just feeling through the ball. I think I served the best in my life, for sure. I was going for the angles. I was going for the body. Everything was going in. That’s much above my standard level.”
Earlier, Djokovic had impressed with his 6-2 6-1 win over Zverev, the world number five.
The 31-year-old Serbian forced a break in the sixth game of the opening set before pressing home his advantage.
It was more of the same in the second, with German Zverev – already secure of a place at the season-ending ATP Finals – soon trailing 5-1 before Djokovic eventually converted his fourth match-point chance.
Djokovic’s run to the final will see him move above Federer when the updated ATP rankings are released on Monday.
The Serbian could yet close further up behind world number one Rafael Nadal should he beat Coric to lift the Shanghai Masters trophy.
“It’s important (to get back to number two) and I am grateful that I have this achievement. I’m proud of it,” Djokovic said.
“Obviously I worked hard for it, and my ultimate goal is to get to number one by the end of the year. I’m in a good way.”
Djokovic has battled back from a long-standing elbow injury, which required an operation, to again prove himself at the top level.
“Being number two after this tournament is also a great achievement, considering the first four or five months of the year and considering I had the surgery,” he said.
“Where I was about four months ago and where I am today is quite an extreme opposite. I’m just cherishing that achievement and every moment spent on the court.”