John Isner won the biggest title of his career and became the oldest first-time winner of a Masters 1000 title with victory over Alexander Zverev at the Miami Open.
The 32-year-old American fought back to win 6-7(4) 6-4 6-4 on the last day of action after 30 years at Crandon Park, before the tournament moves to a new venue in Miami next year.
Isner is the first American to win in Miami since Andy Roddick in 2010, and he will return to his career-high ranking of nine in the world.
In a fitting finale for the Key Biscayne venue, Americans got their hands on all four trophies as Sloane Stephens won the women’s title, Bob and Mike Bryan the men’s doubles, and Coco Vandeweghe teamed up with Australia’s Ash Barty to win the women’s doubles.
“This tournament has so much history,” said Isner, who had won just two singles matches this year heading into Miami.
“All the best players have played here thought the years. For Sascha and I to share the court in the last men’s singles match ever here at this tournament is amazing.
What a week for @JohnIsner!
— Tennis TV (@TennisTV) April 1, 2018
“I never thought I would be in this moment considering how I was playing coming into this event.”
Following Argentine Juan Martin del Potro’s victory in Indian Wells, it is the first time since Lleyton Hewitt and Andre Agassi in 2003 that two non-Europeans have won the two March Masters titles.
Zverev had been hoping to make it three out of three in Masters finals and four out of four against Isner, but the fourth seed fell short, smashing his racquet in anger as he gave up the final break of serve.
“I think I missed more shots today than I did the whole tournament,” said Zverev. “I played bad from the baseline.”
The German was under pressure early and fended off five break points to get to a tie-break, which he then won thanks to a run of four straight points.
Zverev began to leak errors in the second set, however, the pressure telling as Isner finally broke through at 4-4 and then saved break points to force a deciding set.
Isner looked to have missed a golden opportunity at 2-2, 0-40, but would take his chance again at 4-4 and this time served out confidently, sealing victory with his 18th ace of the day.
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