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 had to save three match points against No. 1 Roger Federer in the BNP Paribas Open final to win his maiden Masters 1000 crown.
Isner fired down 18 aces and did not allow Zverev a solitary break in a gripping battle, the 20-year-old German missing out on a third Masters title after suffering a first loss in four meetings with the 14th seed.
The American wasted no time in breaking Del Potro and racing into a 3-0 lead while sending down five aces on his own serve to brilliantly wrap up the first set in just 27 minutes. 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.
"He's the best young player we have", Isner said of Zverev. "I played bad from the baseline, but it's not easy against John. I came into this tournament, I won one ATP (World Tour) match all year and was playing very poorly", Isner said after his win. "I'm happy it's all coming together right now". I know better than anyone what it's costing me, all the days there is something new but I don't want to stop.
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When Sebastian Lletget pulled one back for Galaxy in the 61st minute it appeared it would be little more than a consolation goal. File image of Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho .
"Things are just clicking", Isner said of his game heading into the final. "I think doing well in the doubles in Indian Wells helped a lot". He swung freely and played aggressively, finishing with 39 winners to only 10 from Del Potro. That would be his first Masters 1000 title win.
Mindful of that small margin for error when he lost serve to fall behind 5-4 in the final set, Zverev let his frustration boil over.
In the other semifinal, Zverev got past Carreno Busta of Spain 7-6 (4), 6-2. He probably will not get many chances on the American's serve, which is clear to see after the way he has been serving all week, but the German has to stay positive and acknowledge that he has to be clinical when the opportunity comes.
In the opening set tiebreak, Zverev sent a crushing backhand victor up the line to earn a set point.
The two players that feature in Sunday's final had a very turbulent start to the season and would have expected much more from themselves, but have thankfully found a way to turn the results in their favour and show that one week of good tennis can really change their outlook on their tennis.