John Isner‘s attempt to repeat at the Miami Open ended badly with Roger Federer securing a comfortable 6-1 6-4 win to take home the trophy for the fourth time. It is Federer’s 101st title while he becomes the first player on either the WTA or ATP tour to win a second singles title this year. He also makes his return back to the Top 4, taking that spot back from Dominic Thiem.
Isner will have been hoping to take Federer to tiebreaks at least in the matchup, something he would have been confident about given his strong serving. However, those hopes disintegrated fairly quickly with a break being given up in the first game. He went down 15-40 quickly but would save both, only to hit a wild forehand wide on the third break point. The match got away from him very quickly with Federer picking up another two breaks, the second one closing out the set after an errant backhand from the American.
Federer barely gave up a point on serve, dropping three overall and none on his first serve. He went on a 21 point winning streak on serve, ending midway through the second set. The American was suffering with a foot issue and took a medical timeout midway through the second set, putting paid to any suggestion Isner could tough his way to a three set comeback. His final service game was proof of that with slower serving and a tendency to slice more, resulting in a couple of errors. The match ended on a backhand long from last year’s champion, ruled out after a Federer challenge.
“Somewhere along in the first set I started feeling some pain on the top of my foot, and it didn’t go away, it only kept getting worse. It’s a terrible feeling, because you’re on an island out there, and you have no teammates to hide behind. I was going up against the greatest player ever, playing in this incredible atmosphere and my foot’s killing me.” Isner said on his struggles.
“It was a dream start, relaxing my nerves. What a week its been for me. I’m just so happy right now. It’s unbelievable. I played here in 1999 for the first time and here I am in 2019. It means a lot to me.” Federer said. He will be in confident mood going into his clay return, likely beginning in Madrid.