John Isner stands tall in bid to end Masters hoodoo

Miami Open 2018 Del Potro vs Isner

GETTYDel Potro is eyeing a 16th straight win

"I made some winners; made some backhand winners finally in the match and found my rhythm", said Zverev said of the breaker.

"It's just kind of unique that someone that I was so much older than and practicing with when he was 14, 15, is now one of the best players in the world".

Isner's wait to hoist a prestigious Masters 1000 singles trophy had been a long one. Too many missed ballsAt 20, Zverev already has three Masters 1000-level tour titles.

John Isner earned the biggest win of his career after coming from behind to beat Alexander Zverev in the final of the Miami Open.

Isner turns 33 this month and never imagined coming into this Miami Open that he would emerge as champion. The young German smoked 10 aces past Carreno Busta and won 88 percent of his first-serve points.

If Isner looked relaxed, it's because he was.

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All that changed on Easter Sunday, in the final match of the last Miami Open to play out in Crandon Park. "It's just a mentality".

"I think it was maybe Wednesday before, you know, when the tournament had just started, we spoke - we had dinner and we hashed out, or I especially hashed out what's been holding me back, and it's not more reps on the court". A large segment of the passionate, vocal fans basking in the South Florida sunshine were wearing baby blue and white - the colors of del Potro's homeland, Argentina. "I'm toward the latter part of my career; this is the best moment of my career". "I won my first match in 3 sets, and that's how tennis goes".

As for John Isner, he ought to relish in his 2018 Miami Open victory. He held his own in the occasional extended rally, and repeatedly quieted the crowd with big serves.

But on a weekend American tennis showed its best, he caught the wave with the help of improved returning, and solid play from the baseline. "Physically I'm super fresh, and I'm ready to go for the final".

Isner's final obstacle is Zverev, a player as tall as del Potro but still four inches shorter than Isner. The 32-year-old, who is sponsored by Fila, is the first American to win the tournament since Andy Roddick in 2010.

Isner finished with 39 winners to Del Potro's 10, and in forehands only that difference was an astonishing 19-2. When he has a good day, he has everything to win a title like this. Isner's consistent play and three runs to Masters finals gives him a legitimate claim to being the best player to never have won a Masters event. The tournament will move 18 miles north next year to the Miami Dolphins' stadium. But the USA's Jack Sock broke the sequence previous year, also in Paris, and thus set the stage for another Argentine - Juan Martin del Potro - to triumph in Indian Wells a fortnight ago.

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