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Tennis: Novak Djokovic takes Shanghai Masters for fourth time

Tennis: Novak Djokovic takes Shanghai Masters for fourth time
Novak Djokovic reacts after beating Borna Coric, left, in their men's singles final match at the Shanghai Masters tennis tournament on Oct. 14, 2018. (Johannes Eisele / AFP/Getty Images)

Novak Djokovic won a record fourth Shanghai Masters title with a 6-3, 6-4 win over 13th-seeded Borna Coric on Sunday.

The second-seeded Djokovic has won all four Shanghai finals he's contested in his career (2012, 2013, 2015 and 2018). He previously shared the record of winning three Shanghai titles with Andy Murray.

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Djokovic holds an 11-0 overall record in finals played in China, where he also won the Beijing tournament six times and the 2008 year-end Tennis Masters Cup held in Shanghai.

“Maybe I was Chinese in the past life,” a smiling Djokovic said in explaining his impressive record in the country. “I wouldn't be surprised, to be honest, with the way I feel here and the way I communicate and have relationship with the people.

“It's all very, very positive, for more than 10 years that I have been coming to China. There is something special about this place that makes me feel like at home.”

Djokovic dominated opponents behind his powerful serve, winning all 47 of his service games during the tournament.

“Well, to be honest, I'm not sure whether it has happened ever, you know, that I go through a tournament without dropping one service game,” Djokovic said. “I'm sure that it hasn't happened too many times if it did. So this was definitely one of the best service weeks that I had in my career.

“But for me serve was always, so to say, a hidden weapon, the shot in the game that is obviously very important, the most important. But I always try to use it with an accuracy and efficiency rather than speed and power.”

The Serb offered 13th-seeded Coric one break point in the match, in the sixth game of the second set. Coric, who has yet to win a set against Djokovic in three matches played, sailed a forehand wide to miss out on the rare opportunity.

Djokovic, who has now won four titles this season, will move up one ranking spot to No. 2, pushing Roger Federer back to No. 3.

The victory extended his winning streak to 18 matches, the longest of the season by any male player. Federer and Nadal both had 17-match winning streaks during the year.

Coric, who had his right thigh wrapped throughout the match, saved three match points on his own serve in the ninth game of the second set. But the Croatian couldn't prevent Djokovic from snatching the title on a fourth match point in the next game. Djokovic won the final game to love when Coric sailed a backhand long.

Garcia beats Pliskova to take Tianjin Open

Second-seeded Caroline Garcia won her first tournament of the year with a 7-6 (7), 6-3 win over top-seeded Karolina Pliskova in the Tianjin Open on Sunday.

It was the 16th-ranked Garcia's first title since she won back-to-back trophies at the Wuhan and Beijing tournaments in Asia just over a year ago.

Giorgi wins Ladies Linz

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Camila Giorgi won her second career WTA title by defeating Ekaterina Alexandrova 6-3, 6-1 at the Upper Austria Ladies Linz on Sunday.

The fifth-seeded Italian, who also reached the final here in 2014, won her only previous title in `s-Hertogenbosch, Netherlands, two years ago.

Playing in her first final of the year, Giorgi, who improved to 2-0 against the 119th-ranked Russian, used the only break point in the first set to go 5-3 up. She served out the set with an ace before winning the next four games to set up the victory.

Yastremska wins first WTA title

Ukrainian teen Dayana Yastremska won her maiden WTA title by upsetting sixth-seeded Wang Qiang of China 6-2, 6-1 in 65 minutes at the Hong Kong Open on Sunday.

The 18-year-old was playing in her first career WTA final in only her 11th career appearance in the WTA tournament main draw.

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