Miami Flashback: John Isner tops Juan Martin del Potro

John Isner reached his fourth Masters 1000 final in Miami 2018

by Jovica Ilic
Miami Flashback: John Isner tops Juan Martin del Potro

John Isner reached his fourth Masters 1000 final in Miami 2018. John faced Juan Martin del Potro in the semi-final and scored a 6-1, 7-6 triumph in an hour and 23 minutes for a place in the title clash. Isner experienced an early Indian Wells loss and played better in Miami.

John faced only one break point against Marin Cilic and Hyeon Chung combined, advancing into the semi-final and meeting the Indian Wells champion Juan Martin del Potro. The American continued where he left in the previous rounds and beat the Argentine in straight sets to remain on the title course.

Del Potro entered the encounter with 15 consecutive victories, trying to reach another final after lifting trophies in Acapulco and Indian Wells but not matching Isner's face. Juan Martin had to stay on the court for almost three hours against Milos Raonic two days earlier.

He had nothing more left in the tank against John, especially in the opening set that he lost in under 30 minutes. The second set saw a more dynamic fight, and Isner prevailed in the tie break to become the first American in the Miami final since Andy Roddick in 2010.

With these points, John secured the top-10 return for the first time since May 2014. He found his form after a terrible start of the season that saw him winning two matches before making a Florida trip! It was their tenth meeting and the fourth win for John, who was also victorious last fall at the Paris Masters.

Del Potro had a 5-1 lead in their North American encounters but could not extend that lead. He got broken twice and hit ten winners against Isner's mighty 39. The American had a massive advantage in the shortest points up to four strokes.

Despite spraying more unforced errors, he looked good from start to finish to wrap up the win in straight sets, dropping 11 points on serve and never facing a break chance.

John Isner toppled Juan Martin del Potro to reach the 2018 Miami final.

There was only one player on the court in the opening set, as John seized it 6-1 in 26 minutes.

He gave away five points behind the initial shot and broke Juan Martin twice for the strongest start. He gained the lead in the second game after stealing del Potro's serve with a volley winner for a massive boost. Juan Martin was powerless on the return, and there was no rhythm behind the initial shot either.

The Argentine got broken again at 1-4 after a loose forehand that allowed the American to serve for the set. John blasted four service winners in game seven to grab the opener 6-1, hitting 19 winners, while Juan Martin stayed on plain zero!

Del Potro had to change something rather quickly to stop the avalanche from the other side, raising his level to make the second set much more exciting. His serve and forehand started to work better, and nothing could separate them in the opening eight games, with no deuces or break chances.

Isner had a huge opportunity to bring the match home earlier. He wasted a break point at 4-4 after del Potro's service winner, with three commanding holds following that game to set up a tie break. John opened it with a volley winner and hit two more winners to move 3-0 in front, taking a big step toward the finish line.

He fired two more service winners for a 5-2 advantage and a backhand winner that sent him 6-2 in front, with four match points up for grabs. An outstanding volley winner delivered the American's triumph in the next point, playing on a high level and setting the title clash against Alexander Zverev.

John Isner Juan Martin Del Potro