Roger Federer stands on the cusp of his 101st ATP title when he takes on John Isner in the final of the Miami Open at the Hard Rock Stadium on March 31.
Federer vs Isner preview
None of the top three seeds is alive in the tournament and the final will see the fourth seed taking on the seventh seed. Sunday's meeting will be the first time in four years that Federer will face Isner. The Swiss leads the head-to-head battle against the American 5-2, but given the time that has surpassed since their last meeting, both can consider this match a fresh start.
In the four years the two have not played against each other on the court, Isner climbed to his highest career ranking of 8 in July 2018, reached the Wimbledon semifinal in 2018 and won his first ATP Masters 1000 title. The last of the achievements came last year in the same tournament where he defeated Alexander Zverev.
Sunday's meeting will no doubt be between Isner's serve and Federer's return. Talking about the famed serve of the seventh seed, Federer said, "He's definitely got one of the serves that you basically can't read. It's that simple. You just hope that the stars align, that you pick the right side, he picks the wrong side, maybe he misses a serve, that you can put him in uncomfortable situations time and time again, and at the end somehow find a way."
Meanwhile, Isner firmly believes that he could walk out of the Hard Rock Stadium with consecutive titles in as many years. Although he downplayed his chances at the start of the tournament, the American sounded confident ahead of the final. "I believe personally that I can win any tournament I enter because of how disruptive I can be and because of how well I can serve at times," said Isner. "I'm not surprised that I'm sitting here back in the final again."
Isner will come against a veteran of ATP finals as this match will be Federer's 50th championship match at Masters 1000. Of his previous 49, Federer has won 27 and lost 22 while Isner has only appeared in four finals before and lost three of them.
Miami Open 2019: TV telecast
- Americas (Pacific) - ESPN
- Canada - RDS, TSN
- Cyprus - Cytavision
- Denmark - TV3 Sport
- Finland - MTV
- France - Eurosport
- Germany - Sky
- Greece - Cosmote Sport
- Japan - Gaora
- Russia - Eurosport
- South Africa - Supersport
- Spain - Telefonica (Movistar+)
- United Kingdom & Ireland - Amazon Prime Video