World no. 1 and the defending Shanghai champion Novak Djokovic had another easy day at the office in China, defeating John Isner 7-5, 6-3 to advance into the quarter-final, his 82nd at the Masters 1000 level. The match lasted an hour and 14 minutes and Novak had the upper hand all the time, serving well and keeping the pressure on John's initial shot to seal the deal in straight sets and secure the 350th Masters 1000 victory!
It was the tenth win for Novak over John in 12 encounters, earning it with a brilliant performance on both serve and return, landing 79% of the first serve in and dropping eight points to stay away from any troubles. On the other hand, Isner stayed in touch in the first ten games but that was about to change soon, suffering a break at 5-6 and in the second game of the second set to push Novak over the top after taking only 58% of the points behind the first serve!
The four-time champion had 21 winners and 11 unforced errors, taming his shots nicely and delivering one deep return after another to forge the advantage and sail towards the finish line and the place in the quarters. Djokovic hit a service winner in 40% of his serves and had the upper hand in the shortest rallies and those more extended ones (25 out of 36) to seal the deal in no time at all and stay on the title course.
As we already said, the American stayed in touch in the first ten games but it was clear that it wouldn't last for long, with Novak forcing deuces in games eight and ten before stealing the rival's serve at love at 6-5 following a backhand error from John.
Carried by this momentum, Novak delivered another break in the second game of the second set, barely losing a point in five service games and moving over the top with three winners at 5-3 to set the quarter-final clash against Stefanos Tsitsipas or Hubert Hurkacz.