Who would have bet on a final between John Isner and Alexander Zverev?
Zverev was far this year from the form that got him 2 Masters titles, losing to low ranked players and looking off beat and uninspired.
Isner had only 2 wins against 6 losses until Miami and obviously was nowhere on the radar for the title contenders.
The German prodigy had to defeat Medvedev, Ferrer, Kyrgios, Coric and Carreno Busta on his way to the final.
On the other side, the 6’10” American won against the likes of Vesely, Youzhny, Cilic, Chung and Del Potro. In the process, he showed an astonishing level to eliminate number 3 and 6 in the World.
But the history was against Isner, as he lost his previous 3 Masters finals (to Federer, Nadal and Murray) and all his 3 previous meetings with his 20 years old opponent. He also lost all his 3 finals in the 500 points rank.
Both players started highly motivated, running after every ball and staying focused on the goal.
The first set was a narrow affair, as both players served big, with a slight advantage for Isner, which wasn’t able to capitalize that during the tie-break, which Zverev won 7-6 (4). Both contenders were able to showcase spectacular rallies, much for the spectators’ delight.
But Isner kept attacking Sascha’s vulnerable shot, his forehand. He constantly pushed back the Next Gen Superstar, who was forced to constantly return short and always be on the run, so he couldn’t prepare his shots properly.
Alexander dropped his level on his serve and the constant pressure of Isner produced the first break of the match. Isner had to fight hard to deny many break back points to close the set, 6-4.
The third set continued pretty much like the second, with Isner constantly hitting the ball fast and serving huge. He managed to maintain the same great level and kept pushed Zverev back and put him under pressure. All of this meant Isner broke again and this time closed the set in a convincing manner.
John Isner claims his biggest career title after an amazing week of incredible Tennis, 6-7 (4), 6-4, 6-4.
Let’s see if he can keep up this level and be a contender for big titles this year. At least on the fast surfaces.