Shanghai, October 14: Novak Djokovic continued his extraordinary winning streak as he clinched a third consecutive tournament triumph with a straight-sets victory against Borna Coric in the Shanghai Masters final.
Having prevailed at the Cincinnati Masters and then the US Open in recent weeks, the Serbian added another title in style on Sunday, beating Coric 6-3 6-4 to conclude a stunning week in which he never dropped serve.
Djokovic climbed to number two in the ATP rankings with his semi-final defeat of Alexander Zverev and this victory 24 hours later was his 18th in a row.
And few would now bet against the Wimbledon and Flushing Meadows champion with the ATP Finals in London approaching, his ruthless efficiency having sapped Coric's energy as the final wore on.
A furious pace was established early in the first set and Coric, having initially matched his opponent stride for stride, soon found the going tough.
Djokovic broke to go ahead when the Croatian went long at the end of a rollercoaster sixth game and that was all the second seed needed to close out the opener.
And Coric, a semi-final victor against Roger Federer, lost all composure at the start of the second, sending a simple volley well wide of an open court to hand Djokovic another break.
The 21-year-old looked to be becoming increasingly frustrated by Djokovic's ability to consistently return even the most measured shots, although he stood his ground in a marathon third game.
There was no let-up, though, and a sublime volley had Djokovic cupping an ear to the crowd as Coric failed to break back, the contest finally settled as the 14-time grand slam winner served out the championship.