Monday, 23 July, 2018

Isner fights back to lift Miami title

Canada's Raonic loses to del Potro in three sets in quarterfinal of Miami Open ATP Miami Masters 1000: Zverev will face Isner in the final
Sergio Cook | 02 April, 2018, 00:53

American John Isner outplayed Argentine Juan Martin Del Potro 6-1, 7-6 (2) to reach his first #MiamiOpen final and fourth career Masters 1000 final.

Del Potro continued his run of excellent form at the Masters event as he overcame a 1-4 deficit to defeat No. 22 seed Filip Krajinovic of Serbia 6-4, 6-2 for his 14th consecutive victory.

However, both Zverev and Isner, who had struggled in the new season before heading to Miami, stepped up their games and are now a win away from clinching the prestigious hard-court Masters 1000 title. A precise backhand down the line put him 40-15 ahead and the second break point was converted with a delicate touch at the net.

Notably, Zverev had defeated his American opponent twice a year ago, including the Miami Open third round victory, which came after he had saved three match points.

The first set, in which Isner fired down 19 winners, was sealed in typical fashion with a brutal serve out wide, but the second proved far more attritional.

It was the first semi-final match of the day, with the American dominating proceedings and del Potro, playing out-of-sort. "But today John played better".

"I don't want to think about tennis right now", said the Argentine. "I'm toward the latter part of my career; this is the best moment of my career".

"I was just ready for this moment", Isner said in a TV interview just after the match ended.

Canada's Raonic loses to del Potro in three sets in quarterfinal of Miami Open
John Isner Tops Tennis Powerhouses For Miami Open Title, Biggest Win Of His Career

"I mean, look, it's going to be a completely different match", Zverev predicted.

Finally, in-form Hyeon Chung beat Joao Sousa 6-4 6-3 to advance to the quarter-finals and will take on John Isner.

"As always, I have been feeling tight in all my body for the last couple of weeks, but when I get into the court, I love to play tennis", del Potro said afterward.

Isner's final obstacle is Zverev, a player as tall as del Potro but still four inches shorter than Isner.

The most fascinating part of this matchup is seeing the efficiency of Isner coming into the forecourt against someone that strikes their passing shots as fluid as Zverev does.

Isner, 32, has won 12 singles titles during his career, but he will seek his first in a 1,000-point masters tournament. Zverev defeated Spaniard Pablo Carreno Busta in straight sets 7-6, 6-2.

"It's going to be a completely different match (than the one today), said Zverev about the final". And he's never lost once he reaches the semifinals at this level, though the lose set he did lose was to Isner at Rome.

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