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02 April 2018, 12:49 | Donald Newman
Alexander Zverev to Play John Isner in Miami Open Men's Final
MIAMI -John Isner, playing some of the best tennis of his life defeated a exhausted Juan Martin del Potro 6-1, 7-6 (2) to reach his first Miami Open final.
The last time Del Potro lost was more than a month ago, on 23 February against #NextGenATP American Frances Tiafoe at the Delray Beach Open. But those fans didn't have a lot to cheer about when all was said and done, as del Potro's work day was a short, unsuccessful one, losing 6-1, 7-6 (2).
Isner, who is ranked No. 17 in the world, advances to the final of this ATP World Tour masters event at 1 p.m. Sunday (ESPN2) against the Pablo Carreno Busta-Alexander Zverev victor.
Raonic took the lead by winning the first set, but the Argentinean made a comeback and won two sets in a row. A precise backhand down the line put him 40-15 ahead and the second break point was converted with a delicate touch at the net.
Isner broke in the third game, pounding Del Potro's backhand before hitting a forehand volley victor at net.
He couldn't be playing better, or serving better, right now. In those games, he has only faced a single break point.
Isner is trying to become the first American to win a Miami event since Andy Roddick in 2010.
"I played extremely well. I came into this tournament, I won one ATP [World Tour] match all year and was playing very poorly", Isner said. "Very happy it's all coming together right now". "I'm toward the latter part of my career; this is the best moment of my career".
"Things are just clicking for me", he said, "And if I'm returning well, that should bode well for me given how I serve. I was lucky as a junior to have him at the Saddlebrook academy and it's going to be a great final".
Unlike Isner, Zverev was challenged in the opening set and needed a tightly contested tiebreak to seize early momentum. Neither had ideal starts to the season, indeed Isner had just two match wins to his name when he arrived in Florida. "I played well. I did a good tournament, and I go home with many things to celebrate", Del Potro said. The 20-year-old German bested No. 16 Pablo Carreno Busta of Spain 7-6 (4), 6-2. "Of course I was working hard, but I was just - I have been more relaxed on the court, and I think that's showing in my play".
This was the first time in two attempts Collins has beaten a top 10 player, and even the crestfallen world number eight Williams would find it impossible to admit Collins didn't deserve to seal a meeting with French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko on Thursday for a place in Saturday's final.
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