By Jake Davies

  • John Isner [14]  vs Alexander Zverev [4]
MIAMI, USA – Another Masters 1000 title is up for grabs as John Isner bids for his 1st title at this level, while Alexander Zverev will want to snatch the 3rd title of his career at Masters 1000 competition.

 

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John Isner [14] vs Alexander Zverev [4] H2H: Zverev leads 3-0

The three week stretch of Indian Wells and Miami is drawing to close on Sunday where two players will be looking to take advantage of a huge opportunity to win a Masters 1000 title at the Miami Open. There is no Roger Federer or Novak Djokovic standing in the way of getting their hands on the title – two players that have totally dominated this event over the years.

The two players that feature in Sunday’s final had a very turbulent start to the season and would have expected much more from themselves, but have thankfully found a way to turn the results in their favour and show that one week of good tennis can really change their outlook on their tennis. John Isner was in dire straits, losing seven of nine matches since the Paris Masters last year and he had lost a lot of tight matches in the third set, but now will re-enter the Top 10 and possibly go as high as No.9 in the world with a win in the final. That would be his first Masters 1000 title win.

Alexander Zverev‘s results were similarly disappointing by his standards. Some were starting to get the impression that his poor results at majors was starting to leak into the regular tour events, but he has turned the tables on that notion and now could be a three-time Masters 1000 winner after winning Rome and Montreal last year.

Zverev leads the head-to-head against Isner by 3-0, so naturally goes into the match with a lot of confidence about this particular matchup but will also know in the back of his mind that it is a new match and the additional factor of it being a Masters final makes it a totally different monster for both.

The shot of the tournament has been Zverev’s backhand strike. His ability and willingness to play riskier but rewarding backhand shots down the line to open up further opportunities for himself was something that worked so well in his semi-final against Pablo Carreno Busta, so it will be interesting to see if he utilises this tactic to keep the taller Isner on the back foot and prevent him from using his aggressive forehand to win points.

Zverev has to stick with Isner mentally. He probably will not get many chances on the American’s serve, which is clear to see after the way he has been serving all week, but the German has to stay positive and acknowledge that he has to be clinical when the opportunity comes.

The most fascinating part of this matchup is seeing the efficiency of Isner coming into the forecourt against someone that strikes their passing shots as fluid as Zverev does. The winner of that particular battle should come out on top and win the second Masters 1000 of the 2018 season.

Prediction: Zverev in two sets.

 

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