Alexander Zverev To Lock Horns With Isner – Five Facts About The Miami Open Final
Besides prize money of over $1 million, here is what is at stake for Zverev and Isner in Miami.
In the last men’s final before the Miami Open moves to its new home at the Hard Rock Stadium, Alexander Zverev will take on John Isner. Zverev, who has not played a top 10 seed in the entire tournament, booked his place in the final with wins over Nick Kyrgios, Borna Coric and Pablo Carreno Busta. In contrast big-serving Isner has already scored wins over top 10 players Marin Cilic and Juan Martin del Potro.
A lot is on the line for both players at Crandon Park. Here are five things you need to know about this year’s Miami men’s final.
It will be their fourth meeting
The Miami showdown will be the fourth time Zverev has played Isner on the tour and the first time in the final of an event. The German currently has an unbeaten record against the 14th seed. Although their two most recent meetings have gone to three sets with at least one tiebreaker played.
“I think he’s going to hit a lot of aces, a lot of winners. It’s going to be a completely different match. But I’m ready for it, and hopefully it will be another great one.” Said Zverev.
On the other hand Isner, who has hit a total of 61 aces so far in the tournament, isn’t letting his losing record deter him. Sunday will be his fourth appearance in a Masters 1000 final at the age of 32. Three out of his four final appearances has occurred on home soil (Indian Wells 2012, Cincinnati 2013 and Miami 2018). His Non-American run occurred at the 2016 Paris Open.
“I’m just going to focus on what I do well and come up with a game plan with whoever I’m playing on Sunday.” Isner told reporters on Friday after his semi-final win.
2016 ATP Masters 1000 Shanghai (China) – Zverev won 6-4 6-2
2017 ATP Masters 1000 Miami (U.S.A.) – Zverev won 6-7(5) 7-6(7) 7-6(5)
2017 ATP Masters 1000 Rome (Italy) – Zverev won 6-4 6-7(5) 6-1
Isner’s American quest
Besides bidding to win the biggest title of his career, Isner will also be attempting to be the first home player to win in Miami since 2010. An American man has won the Miami title 14 times, but only twice since 2005. The last was Andy Roddick in 2010.
Since the implementation of the Masters 1000 series in 2009, only two American men have won a trophy. After Roddick, Jack Sock won last year’s Paris Masters.
Zverev aims to emulate Djokovic
At the age of 20, Zverev has already won two Masters 1000 titles. Should he win his third in Miami, he would become the youngest champion for over a decade. In 2007 Novak Djokovic, who was seeded tenth in the draw, defeated Guillermo Cañas in the final at the age of 19. To date, Djokovic is the youngest ever winner of the event.
Three years ago in Miami Zverev won his first match at a Masters 1000 event at the age of 17 years and 11 months. Becoming one of the youngest players in history to do so. His win was over Australia’s Sam Groth.
Isner Targets a different kind of sunshine double
Should he win, Isner would achieve something that has only ever previously been achieved by one person on the ATP Tour. To claim the Indian Wells doubles title followed by the Miami singles title.
Earlier this month he teamed up with compatriot Sock to claim only his fifth doubles trophy on the tour. The unseeded pairing didn’t drop a set throughout the competition and edged out the Bryan brothers in the final.
The only player to achieve the milestone is Jim Courier, who won the duo of titles in 1991.
What’s at stake in the ATP rankings
Apart from receiving prize money of $1,340,860, whoever claims the Miami Open crown this year will rise to their ranking high. Zverev will rise to third in the world for the first time since the week commencing November 12th last year.
Meanwhile, Isner has the chance of rising to his career best of ninth. A position he first held back on 16th April 2012. He is already guaranteed to enter the top 10 for the first time since 2014.
The men’s final will get underway on Sunday at 13:00 EDT (18:00 GMT)