Tuesday, 22 May, 2018

John Isner defeats del Potro for Miami final

WTA Miami: Superb John Isner snaps del Potro's winning run, reaches final Isner "keeps pounding" his way through Miami
| 02 April, 2018, 00:53

Raonic, from Thornhill, Ont., lost to del Potro in the semifinals of the Indian Wells Masters earlier this month.

He had reached the final with a 6-1, 7-6 win Friday in the semifinals against Argentina's Juan Martin del Potro.

Another Masters 1000 title is up for grabs as John Isner bids for his 1st title at this level, while Alexander Zverev will want to snatch the 3rd title of his career at Masters 1000 competition.

Even in a depleted field lacking Andy Murray, Stan Wawrinka, and Rafael Nadal; Isner faced a hard road to the final and will have fully earned his title if he tops Zverev, victor of two Masters last season.

"He's the best young player we have", Isner said of Zverev. Not only has Zverev faced more break points overall in their meetings, he's also faced more in two of their three matches, so it is likely that there was a large dose of variance and fine margins in Zverev's head-to-head triumphs. His ability and willingness to play riskier but rewarding backhand shots down the line to open up further opportunities for himself was something that worked so well in his semi-final against Pablo Carreno Busta, so it will be interesting to see if he utilises this tactic to keep the taller Isner on the back foot and prevent him from using his aggressive forehand to win points. "I played bad from the baseline, but it's not easy against John".

"I am so happy", said 32-year-old Isner. "John deserved to win today".

"I couldn't have scripted this", Isner said in his post-match interview.


"It's going to be a completely different match". "I think doing well in the doubles in Indian Wells helped a lot".

Even so, Isner knew he was the fresher player. "I'm going to be very tough to beat". After losing the first set in a tiebreaker, the 14th-ranked Isner won the next two sets by scores of 6-4, 6-4.

"I've been feeling exhausted in all my body for the last couple of weeks", del Potro said.

Isner is the oldest first-time ATP Would Tour Masters 1000 titlist.

Carreno Busta thumped compatriot Fernando Verdasco, who had been involved in a heated row with Thanasi Kokkinakis in his previous match, 6-0 6-3, while Anderson took out Frances Tiafoe - playing his second match of the day after finishing off a tie with Tomas Berdych - 7-6 (7-3) 6-4. There are other players who had more overall success in the last few years, but their success in Masters specifically did not reach that of Isner's.

The final will be played on Sunday.

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