Fixture: (11) Felix Auger-Aliassime vs (18) John Isner
Date: 28 March 2021
Tournament: Miami Open 2021
Round: Third Round (Round of 32)
Venue: Miami, Florida
Category: ATP Masters 1000 Series
Surface: Outdoor hardcourt
Prize money: $3,340,000
Live telecast: USA - Tennis Channel | UK - Europsort
Felix Auger-Aliassime vs John Isner preview
After a somewhat underwhelming season last year, Felix Auger-Aliassime has registered some impressive results in 2021 so far. The 20-year-old reached the final in Melbourne before defeating Denis Shapovalov on his way to the Australian Open fourth round.
Following the Australian swing Auger-Aliassime fell to Nishikori in the first round at Rotterdam, but he bounced back strongly in Acapulco. The Canadian challenged Stefanos Tsitsipas to the limit in the quarterfinals of the Mexican Open, before bowing out in three sets.
Semifinalist at the last edition of the Miami Open (2019), Auger-Aliassime began his 2021 campaign by comfortably defeating Pierre Hugues-Herbert in the second round. He will now look to carry that momentum and make it deep into the draw at the Masters 1000 event once again.
John Isner, meanwhile, has been rather quiet ever since the tour restarted amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The American has played only five tournaments during this stretch and has not been able to get past the third round at any.
Isner started his 2021 season at Delray Beach, before reappearing at Acapulco; the 35-year-old skipped the Australian swing. With early losses at both Delray Beach and Acapulco, it is safe to say Isner hasn't arrived in Miami with a lot of confidence.
He managed to set up the third-round encounter with Auger-Aliassime after overturning a one-set deficit against Mackenzie McDonald in the second round.
Felix Auger-Aliassime vs John Isner head-to-head
The will be the second professional meeting between the two players, with John Isner leading the head-to-head 1-0 over Felix Auger-Aliassime. The American defeated the 20-year-old in the semifinals of the the 2019 Miami Open.
Felix Auger-Aliassime vs John Isner prediction
By both form and ranking, Felix Auger-Aliassime is the favorite over John Isner for this third-round encounter. But given Isner's track record in Miami - the American won the event in 2018 and reached the final in 2019 - , the match could throw up more than a few complications for the Canadian.
Auger-Aliassime has been in good nick all season, with his return game and backhand improving progressively. The 20-year-old will look to impose his game from the baseline and use his quick foot speed to latch on to any lapses of concentration from Isner.
But Isner is one of the greatest servers of his generation, and he uses his biggest weapon intelligently to dictate play - especially in the clutch moments. That is something Auger-Aliassime learned the hard way two years ago, when the 35-year-old prevailed in two consecutive tie-breaks.
Isner will always fancy his chances of causing an upset or two on the hardcourts of Miami, where he has had the best results of his career. That said, given his rustiness and Auger-Aliassime's recent solid displays, the Canadian may have the edge in Sunday's encounter.
Prediction: Felix Auger-Aliassime to win in three sets.