Tennis

When Novak Djokovic can overtake Rafael Nadal as world No.1

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Novak Djokovic of Serbia hits a return shot to Alexander Zverev of Germany during their men's singles semifinals match in the Shanghai Masters tennis tournament at Qizhong Forest Sports City Tennis Center in Shanghai, China, Saturday, Oct. 13, 2018. (AP Photo/Andy Wong)

Novak Djokovic is back at world No.2 after booking his place in the Shanghai Masters final (Picture: AFP)

Novak Djokovics return to the summit of world tennis appears almost inevitable after he booked his place in the final of the Shanghai Masters following a straight sets victory over Alexander Zverev.

The Serb took little over an hour to swat aside Zverev, who previously hadnt dropped a set all week, to extend his winning sequence to 17 matches and overtake Roger Federer as world No.2 in the process.

Djokovics remarkable comeback year, which has already seen him reclaim the US Open and Wimbledon titles, could still see him achieve one final stellar accomplishment by leapfrogging Rafael Nadal and cementing his status as world No.1 for the first time since July 2016.

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And that could happen as soon as November 5, assuming he wins tomorrows final against either Federer or Borna Coric and then progresses further than Nadal at the upcoming Paris Masters.

Regardless of what happens over the coming weeks, former British No.1 Greg Rusedski feels Djokovic is comfortably the best player in the world at present.

Thats the best match Ive seen him play [since his comeback], he said.

Spain's Rafael Nadal reacts after losing a point to Austria's Dominic Thiem during their Men's Singles Quarter-Finals match at the 2018 US Open at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in New York on September 4, 2018. (Photo by EDUARDO MUNOZ ALVAREZ / AFP)EDUARDO MUNOZ ALVAREZ/AFP/Getty Images

Novak Djokovic could replace Rafael Nadal as World No.1 after the Paris Masters (Picture: Getty)

He was sensational about as good as it gets. Novak to me right now looks like the best player on the planet and looks like the guy who is dominating mens tennis.

I just think his mindset and movement was amazing. Whether he had to play defence or offence everything was functioning and the mind was so serene from start to finish.

When you are winning like this obviously you are calm when you are losing things are a bit different, Djokovic, himself, said after dispatching Zverev.

You are always trying to stay centered and balanced. You need to direct the focus where it matters. Thats the ultimate goal for all of us especially individual athletes
where there is no running away from adversity.

There is a lot going on you dont get to see on the inside but most of the time I learn to control the emotions.

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