One of the most anticipated clashes of the second Masters 1000 tournament of the season in Miami was the one against John Isner and Juan Martin del Potro, a semi-final encounter that Isner won 6-1 7-6 in an hour and 23 minutes for his fourth Masters 1000 final. After his amazing performance versus Hyeon Chung, this was another dominant display from the big American, especially in the opening set which was one of the best he ever played.
The 32-year-old kept the points on his racquet and he managed to end Juan Martin's impressive streak of 15 consecutive wins, coming into this match with titles form Acapulco and Indian Wells and looking to reach another final and grab a possible "Sunshine Double." Despite a solid performance in the second set the Argentinian was nowhere near his best in this match, partly because John didn't let him play and also due to fatigue, spending almost 3 hours on the court in the previous match against Milos Raonic.
Isner won just two matches this year before Miami but he was at the very top of his game in Florida, serving well and outplaying every rival from the baseline to advance into the final in style. Del Potro never found his range with groundstrokes and despite the fact he made a fewer number of errors than John he was nowhere near a huge number of winners that Isner fired, falling in the most important moments of the second set to hit the exit door and snap his great run in the semis.
John served at 64% and he never faced a single break point, dropping 11 points on serve in the entire match and none in the tie break when it mattered the most. On the other hand, del Potro landed only 49% of the first serve in and he was under a constant pressure in his games in the opening set.
He had to play against three break points in total, which is not that much, and he stayed on the level terms with John in the second set before the tie break where he gave his serve away three times. John was 27-17 in front in service winners but it is interesting to notice they were not separated by that much in serving department before the 10th game of the second set, staying locked up on 16 service winners each.
Out of sudden, John blasted eight service winners in a row in the last eight points in his games and three more in the tie break to create this handful gap. He was even more impressive from the field, using every shorter ball to fire a bullet from his forehand and finishing on 23 winners compared to only six from the Argentinian who struggled to keep the shots on his racquet and move Isner away from the comfort zone with his groundstrokes that worked so well in the last couple of weeks.
With such an aggressive approach, John was set to make more errors as well but that couldn't disturb his game, finishing on 14 unforced errors while del Potro had seven. The American hit more forced errors as well, 11-7, but that wasn't enough for Juan Martin to achieve the better result after such a huge shortage in the winners department.
Overall, John hit 50 winners and 26 errors while Juan Martin stayed on a positive but more reduced 23-17 ratio that kept him on the boondocks of the scoreboard. Juan Martin had a slim edge in the longest points between fifth and 12th shot, winning 17 out of 30, but John overcame that deficit easily in the shortest rallies up to four strokes where he dismantled the Argentinian 54-32.
Besides that extra 10 service winners he was much more efficient with his first groundstroke after the initial shot, imposing his strokes with strong forehands and keeping his backhand safe.
Point by point result and the number of shots in the rallies: