Federer claims the Miami Open title with a comfortable victory over John Isner
Roger Federer, the ATP’s fifth-ranked player in the world and tournament No. 4 seed made quick work of seventh-seeded American John Isner in the final that lasted an hour and three minutes at the Hard Rock Stadium on Sunday afternoon.
Federer, whose 20 Grand Slams is most all time, won his fourth Miami Open title and 28th ATP Masters 1000 in a pairing of the last two champions in Miami. He becomes the tournament’s first title winner at its new location at Hard Rock after moving from Crandon Park Tennis Center on Key Biscayne this year.
In a matchup of elite return against elite serve, Federer’s return game gained him an advantage from the start. He broke Isner’s serve to open the match and then again in the fifth and seventh games of the first set, taking it, 6-1.
Isner began to get his serve going in the second set, holding his first four serves. As Federer led 40-0 in the ninth game, Isner was seen limping with an apparent foot injury. He didn’t move on Federer’s ace that followed to make it 5-4.
As Isner took a seat before serving, cameras showed him apparently saying “I can’t move” before trainers attended him. His mobility was hindered in the final game as Federer broke his serve once more for the match. A final Isner forehand, originally called in, was overturned upon review as going long to give Federer the match and the trophy.
Federer had 17 winners to Isner’s 13 and Isner had 16 unforced errors.
Federer snapped Isner’s 11-match Miami Open win streak after as the defending champ was rolling into Sunday without dropping a set all tournament. Despite the dominance, Isner had required tiebreakers in nine of his 10 sets entering the final.
Isner, ranked world No. 9 whose only other ATP Masters 1000 victory was last year in Key Biscayne, entered Sunday holding serve 56 of 60 times (93 percent) during the tournament. Federer returned 89 percent of Isner’s first-set serves and Isner had eight unforced errors in the opening set.
Since undergoing knee surgery in 2016, Federer has now won 13 ATP Tour titles, including three Grand Slams and Sunday’s victory making it his fourth Masters 1000 title after critics wondered if the Swiss star could return to the top of his game following the surgery. Before his 2017 Miami Open title, he also won it in 2005 and 2006.