The Hard Rock stadium in Miami, Florida is all set to host the final between the defending champion John Isner and the one of the greatest players of all time, Roger Federer. Isner defeated Felix Auger Aliassime whereas Federer defeated Denis Shapovalov to reach the finals.
Let's analyze their head-to-head statistics.
Apart from some tour matches, Federer and Isner haven't played on the professional tour since 2015, and the last time they faced each other was in the fourth round of the ATP Paris Masters 1000.
John Isner won that match 7-6,3-6,7-6, and Federer in 2015-16 was in a lean phase with both injuries and form taking a hit.
Out of the 7 matches they played against each other, Federer won 5 and Isner won 2. They played 8 tie-breakers in those seven matches and both won 4 tie-breakers each.
Both players have evolved a lot when compared to their last meeting back in 2015. Since then, Federer recovered from his injuries and won 3 major titles, whereas Isner also struggled against injuries of his own but made adjustments to both his game as well as his forehand.
Isner's serve is his strength and the key aspect to his game. It will always be difficult to break him if he is hitting the right lines and playing some decent rallies. He can hold his serve by doing this alone.
For Roger to break Isner's serve, his return percentage should be great. However, Federer is also known to be a good-returner of the serve and can defend to the maximum extent possible. Nevertheless, the speeds with which Isner lands his first-serves will be difficult for Roger to keep the ball in play.
If Roger can show persistence in this area of the game, then he can win the match and his 101st title.
On the other hand, Isner will be quite wary of the variety Roger possesses and he will try hard to hold his serve. As once the score reaches 6-6 and a tie-break is enforced, anything can happen, and Isner will be hoping for tie-breaks in all three sets.
The Miami Open final between these two players might not have extending rallies like Nadal and Djokovic, but it is only going to be a display of serves from both the players. For Roger to break in, he should be at his very best in handling Isner's serves, or else the match's result will solely be based on the performance of players in tie-breakers.
Match Prediction : Federer winning in three sets.Published 31 Mar 2019, 11:38 IST