Coric turfed out defending champion and top seed Roger Federer in emphatic style on Saturday, the Croatian stunning the Swiss great 6-4 6-4 to reach his first Masters 1000 final.
The 20-times Grand Slam victor has produced a series of lacklustre performances in Shanghai, his first tournament since suffering a shock fourth-round defeat by John Millman at the U.S. Open last month.
"Today, really, I just came on the court with absolutely no pressure".
'That's the best match I've seen him play [since his comeback],' he said.
"I thought he was better, I think he had more punch on the ball".
Coric broke Federer once in both sets and faced no break points as he made 78 per cent of his first serves. Given his two prior matches both went to three sets, it still shows that Federer hasn't been at his dominant best this week, even in quick conditions which should be to his liking.
Coric earned passage to the final by taking down the top-seeded Federer 6-4, 6-4 in the semifinals on Saturday.
Djokovic will be up a place to second in the world - overtaking 20-time Grand Slam champion Federer - when the rankings are released on Monday.
Federer failed to make an impact on Coric's serve, losing the match in straight sets without creating a single break point. He banged his racket on the court, then gave it another swipe before tossing the mangled implement into the crowd.
"I did what, 24 unforced errors and seven winners?"
Alexander Zverev disposes of his racket after smashing it in frustration during his match against Novak Djokovic.
'I did everything I meant to do on my end, ' Djokovic said.
"It's all working and it's been a couple of flawless matches".
Djokovic is targeting his 72nd career title here on Sunday.
Federer was forced to battle into the semi-finals after two tough three-setters against Daniil Medvedev and Roberto Bautista Agut then a hard-fought win over Kei Nishikori. "But you always have to kind of pinch yourself, particularly at this stage of my career, and be grateful, because I have had an awesome career so far".
The Serb took little over an hour to swat aside Zverev, who previously hadn't dropped a set all week, to extend his winning sequence to 17 matches and overtake Roger Federer as world No.2 in the process.