John Isner Wins Miami Open for First Masters Series 1000 Title
(April 1, 2018) John Isner won the Miami Open title on Sunday over No. 4 seed Alexander Zverev 6-7(4), 6-4, 6-4 to claim the biggest title of his career – a Masters 1000 Series event on the ATP World Tour. He lost his three previous Masters Series finals to Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray. Isner will move up to No. 9 in the world on Monday, equaling his career-high from 2012.
“It’s incredible, said the 32-year-old Isner. “I mean, you know, to come back, as well, after, you know, a pretty disappointing first set, a first set I had certainly some chances in and some break points, and was serving at 4-3 in the tiebreaker and lost four straight points.
“You know, at that point I was actually exhausted. Somewhere along in the second set I found a second wind, and I felt so much better in the second set and the third set than I did in the first set.
“To win like that in front of a crowd like that, with that atmosphere, you can’t replicate moments like that. It was absolutely amazing.”
“He played great. He played very well from the baseline and he returned very well. Obviously his serve, but we don’t need to talk about the serve,” the 20-year-old German said to media.
“I did too many unforced errors and I kind of lost the match myself.”
“You’ve got two of these already, thanks for letting me have one!”
Some special words from @JohnIsner to Zverev. Sportsmanship + friendship = ?#MiamiOpen pic.twitter.com/1MUU2KILEO
— Tennis TV (@TennisTV) April 1, 2018
Isner has known “Sasha” since he was a child due to Zverev’s older brother Mischa from Saddlebrook in Florida where they all train.
“Sascha would kind of follow his older brother Mischa around, and at some point one of my coaches told me, Watch out for this kid.
“And then I started practicing with him when he was 14, 15 years old, and he’s beating me at 15 years old. I’m, like, Oh, my gosh. He’s the real deal.
“Everything he’s accomplished, I’m not surprised in the least. 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. So I never could have imagined I would play him in a match like that when I first met him at 14 years old. He’s super talented.”
“We were practicing a lot,” said Zverev. “Actually, the first practice that we ever played I think I was 15, and it was the last day of the offseason and he went to Australia, and he lost to me.
“He was quite disappointed, I remember. But he’s a great guy. He was always kind of pushing the younger guys. I’m happy that, you know — I’m never happy to lose, but if I lose, I’m happy that he won the first Masters.”
“I want to thank you for teaching me how to play the game”
Lovely words from Sascha to John.#MiamiOpen pic.twitter.com/eGMnjZsQxl
— Tennis TV (@TennisTV) April 1, 2018
Isner’s win came as the last singles match on Key Biscayne before the Miami Open moves next year to Hard Rock Stadium, where the NFL Miami Dolphins play.
“For Sascha and I to share the court in the last men’s singles match ever here at this tournament is amazing,” Isner said. “I mean, I never thought I would be in this moment considering how I was playing coming into this event.
“For me to come out the winner in the last men’s singles match ever here is pretty unique. I mean, I of course watched this tournament, and I think I maybe played the Orange Bowl one time down here and never — this is crazy.”
The 14th seeded Isner became the first man from the United States to win Miami since Andy Roddick did it in 2010.
Isner came into Miami with a 1-6 record on the year, and now leaves with his biggest tournament win ever, coming on Easter Sunday.
“Yeah, it’s very special,” Isner said. “It’s incredible. I wrote on the camera, “He is risen.””
John Isner heads to Nashville, Tennessee to be a part of the United States Davis Cup team as they host Belgian, without their top player, David Goffin. The six-foot-ten Isner says that win gives him confidence heading into the Davis Cup quarterfinials
“I think all of us are, especially me now, I’m definitely playing well, I will go into this tie very confident, and I think the other guys will be confident, as well.
“You know, as I said, Captain (Jim) Courier has so many options at his disposal. He can throw any five of us on singles on Friday and any two of us on doubles on Saturday.
“We’ll see how it shakes out. I will get to Nashville Tuesday, and if need be, I’ll be ready to go on Friday.”