Race for world No. 1 heats up after Djokovic's victory in Shanghai

Nadal leads by 35 points

Getty Images

Novak Djokovic of Serbia poses with the trophy after winning his men's singles final match against Borna Coric of Croatia in the Men's singles final match on day eight of Shanghai Rolex Masters at Qi Zhong Tennis Centre on Oct. 14, 2018 in…

(CNN) - Novak Djokovic extended his incredible form at the Shanghai Masters, winning a record fourth title Sunday to set his sights on the world No. 1 spot.

The Serb defeated 21-year-old Berna Coric 6-3 6-4 to claim his 32nd Masters 1000 title, now leaving him just one behind Rafael Nadal's all-time record.

Victory means Djokovic's winning streak now stands at 18 matches as he closes to just 35 points behind world leader Nadal in the race to be No. 1 after the season-ending ATP Finals in London.

"It's phenomenal, I'm very proud of it," Djokovic told the ATP website. "Obviously the last three, four months have been terrific for me.

"Not many holes in the game in general, especially this week. Everything worked perfectly."

The 31-year-old Djokovic didn't drop serve all week -- a total of 47 service games -- and moves above Roger Federer into the world No. 2 spot after Monday's updated rankings.

"This was definitely one of the best service weeks that I've had in my career," Djokovic said.

"I was saying before that I have never played on faster courts here in Shanghai, so this year more than ever I needed a lot of success with the first serves in, and I have had plenty of success with first serves and high per cent of first serves in every match.

"So obviously that brings me a lot of joy."

History maker

The extra 1,000 ranking points help Djokovic break into the world's top two for the first time since June 2017, while he also earned $1,360,560 in prize money for his efforts in Shanghai.

Victory extends Djokovic's love affair with Masters 1000 events, after his defeat of Federer in the final of August's Cincinnati Masters helped him become the first man in history to win all nine titles since the series' inception in 1990.

Djokovic has already booked his place at the ATP Finals along with Nadal, Federer, Juan Martin del Potro and Alexander Zverev but the other three places are still up for grabs.

Coric, meanwhile, was philosophical in defeat after the 600 points earned in the final defeat moved him up to 13th in the world rankings.

"I thought I was actually playing really well," the Croat told the ATP. "I'm feeling good on the court. I was not serving particularly well, but that's also because I think he was returning extremely well, so I was going for a little bit more.

"I'm just happy with the whole week. I think it was a really good week for me, from basically me thinking on Monday morning I'm going to fly out on Monday evening after my first match [against Stan Wawrinka] to playing my first Masters 1000 final.

"It's awesome. I need to take only positives from this week."

Copyright 2018 by CNN NewSource. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.