John Isner claimed the biggest title of his 14-year career as he defeated Alexander Zverev in an absorbing Miami Open final on Sunday.
Isner followed Sloane Stephens’ victory on Saturday to give the United States their first clean sweep at Key Biscayne since 2004 when Andy Roddick and Serena Williams swept to glory.
The 32-year-old, who had won just two matches heading into Crandon Park, sealed a stunning 6-7 (4-7) 6-4 6-4 comeback victory in two hours and 29 minutes to land his maiden Masters title.
Here's a collection of the best shots from a thrilling Miami Open final between Isner and Zverev
“I couldn’t have scripted this. I came into this tournament, I won one ATP [World Tour] match all year and was playing very poorly,” Isner said after his win. “I won my first match in three sets and that’s how tennis goes – you start to gain a little confidence and next thing you know things start to roll your way.”
German fourth seed Zverev, who was aiming to collect his seventh career ATP Tour title and third Masters 1000 crown, was forced to repel five break point opportunities, but he came through unscathed against the 6ft 10in American as the set headed to a tie-break.
In a nerve-racking affair, both players relinquished mini-break advantages until Zverev, 20, rolled up his sleeves to take it 7-4 after 58 minutes.
When the pair met in the last 32 of the tournament last year all three sets went to tie-breaks, but Isner, who ended Indian Wells champion Juan Martin del Potro’s 15-match winning streak en route to the final, looked the determined player in the second set and when his forehand painted the line at break point in the ninth game, he celebrated in style in front of his home supporters.
This epic 18-shot rally was one of the best points of the final
There was more angst-filled drama in a highly-entertaining 10th game as 14th-seeded Isner eventually served it out to send the final into a deciding set.
Isner was the aggressor and after Zverev showed guts to save three break point chances early on in the set, he finally wilted in the ninth game as the American broke through before successfully serving out the biggest title of his career.
Isner, who had previous three major tour final appearances in 2012, 2013 and 2016, will become the top-ranked American and move up to ninth in the world ranking on Monday.
You can watch repeats of the ATP Miami Open final throughout the day on Monday and we’ll be back for more tennis on Monday, April 16 for the start of the ATP Monte Carlo Rolex Masters with coverage underway from 9.30am on Sky Sports Arena.
ATP Masters Tennis
April 2, 2018, 8:00pm
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