After an early loss in Indian Wells, John Isner played one of his best tournaments in Miami 2018, finding the rhythm after the opening clash and standing as one of the players to beat. John faced only one break point against Marin Cilic and Hyeon Chung combined, advancing into the semis where he faced Indian Wells champion Juan Martin del Potro in the battle for the place in the final.
The American continued where he left in the previous rounds, scoring a 6-1 7-6 triumph in an hour and 23 minutes to reach his fourth Masters 1000 final. The Argentine entered this encounter with 15 straight victories, trying to reach another final after lifting trophies in Acapulco and Indian Wells but not being able to match Isner's face.
Juan Martin had to stay on the court for almost three hours against Milos Raonic two days earlier and had nothing more left in the tank, especially in the opening set where John destroyed him in less than 30 minutes. The second set saw a more dynamic fight and Isner prevailed in the tie break to become the first American in Miami final since Andy Roddick in 2010.
With these points, John secured the top-10 return for the first time since May 2014, finding his form after a terrible start of the season that saw him winning two matches before making Florida trip! It was their tenth meeting and the fourth win for John who was also victorious last fall at Paris Masters.
Del Potro had a 5-1 lead in their North America encounters but couldn't extend that lead, getting broken twice and hitting just ten winners against mighty 39 from Isner. The American had a massive advantage in the shortest points up to four strokes and 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.
There was only one player on the court in the opening set that John seized 6-1 in 26 minutes, giving away five points behind the initial shot and breaking Juan Martin twice for the best possible start of the match. He gained the lead already in the second game after stealing del Potro's serve with a volley winner, gaining a massive boost ahead of the rest of the encounter.
Juan Martin was powerless on the return and got broken once again at 1-4 after a loose forehand that allowed John to serve for the set in the next game. The American blasted four service winners to grab the opener 6-1, hitting 19 winners while Juan Martin stayed on plain zero!
Del Potro had to change something on the court and in a rather quick manner if he wanted to stop this avalanche from the other side of the net, 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, wasting a break chance at 4-4 after a service winner from del Potro, 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 towards 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 triumph for the American in the very next point to book the place in the final in an impressive way.