Defending Champ Isner Proving The Tie-break King In Miami
Defending champion John Isner won his ninth consecutive match at the Miami Open presented by Itau on Tuesday, defeating in-form Brit Kyle Edmund 7-6(5), 7-6(3) to reach the last eight in Southern Florida.
Isner has won five of his six sets this tournament in tie-breaks, going undefeated in them thus far in his three matches. Against Edmund, the American struck 17 aces and won 81 per cent of his first-serve points to move on.
Isner is into the quarter-finals for the fourth time this season, and he is trying to win at least one title for the ninth time in 10 years (excluding 2016). It is his third trip to the last eight in Miami.
For a moment though, it appeared the home favourite had let slip his momentum. Isner led the opening set 5-2, but a sloppy game while serving into the sun allowed Edmund to get back on serve by breaking to love and eventually earning a two-mini break lead at 4/1 in the ensuing tie-break.
But Isner benefitted from a double fault and fought off a body serve on consecutive points to regain the advantage and take the first set, and he never looked back. There were no break points in the second set, and Isner once again prevailed in a tie-break to advance after one hour and 40 minutes.
Edmund was trying to earn his third victory against an opponent inside the Top 10 of the ATP Rankings (2-19) with both wins coming last year over then- World No. 3 Grigor Dimitrov at the Australian Open and then-No. 10 David Goffin at the Mutua Madrid Open.
Did You Know?
According to the FedEx ATP Performance Zone, Isner is now 407-260 in tie-breaks at tour-level. His 61 per cent win-rate in tie-breaks puts him in 12th in the Open Era.