Roger Federer felt he lacked the "punch" of Borna Coric as he delivered a knockout blow to deny the Swiss great a place in the Shanghai Masters final.
Coric beat Federer in the Gerry Weber Open in June and pulled off another shock on Saturday, defeating the 20-time grand slam champion 6-4, 6-4 to set up a showdown with Novak Djokovic.
The 21-year-old Croatian did not face a break point, winning 84 per cent of points on his first serve and breaking in the first game of both sets to reach his first ATP World Tour Masters 1000 decider.
Federer will be replaced by Djokovic at number two in the rankings after missing out on a 99th title and although he was generally pleased with his performances this week, the 37-year-old knows he can raise his game.
"I must say I felt overall actually pretty good, so I'm happy about that. It's definitely something I can build on now for Basel and then for London and maybe Paris. I'm happy how the body has felt this week," said Federer.
"I'm actually happy. I feel like I'm explosive out there, returning well. Serving, I think, it's okay, could be even a little bit better. I don't think I played a match where I didn't get broken, so that's something a bit more unusual for me."
He added: "But regardless, I think the court allowed for great ball striking. I felt like I got some great rhythm, whereas in Cincinnati I came out of the tournament, I was, like, 'I don't know where my game is. It's the finals. Not bad. But I couldn't tell you if I'm hitting the ball well or not'.
"He didn't give me many chances on his serve, and for me to stay with him, I should have maybe done a better job on my own serve. But then again, it wasn't bad either."
"And then in the rallies, I thought he had more punch than me. Maybe it's a lot of tennis this week, but quite honestly, I'm happy how I'm playing. This was a good week again. I'm happy about my reaction after the US Open. I thought he was better. I think he had more punch on the ball. He served better; I think that's it."
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