Roger Federer continues his unabashed journey into tennis history picking up his 101st singles career title as he targets Jimmy Connor’s all-time record of 109.
Getting a break so early was like a dream start. It relaxes your nerves and you now you in the match Roger Federer
He beat defending champion John Isner 6-1 6-4 in just 63 -minutes for the Miami Masters 1000 title in what was his 154th tour final and his 50th ATP Masters showpiece appearance.
Isner, who had bludgeoned his way to the final by winning his previous five matches with a series of tie-breaks – nine in ten sets played, plus one at 7-5 – found himself unable to bring his big gun to bear on the Swiss Maestro.
The 33-year-old American No.1 was broken in the opening game as Federer continued the pattern of his previous matches by getting off to a good start.
The fourth seeded 37-year-old maintained his grip from the outset, never letting his adversary any leeway. Unfortunately his 6’10” opponent also picked up an injury during the second set which then hampered him even more.
“Getting a break so early was like a dream start. It relaxes your nerves and you now you in the match,” Federer said after lifting his fourth Miami Open title. “What a week it has been for me.”
Isner believed he had ‘broken’ his foot but despite his injury, battled bravely on in a somewhat dispirited fashion dropping the first set in only 23 minutes.
“Somewhere during the first set I started feeling pain on top of my foot and it didn’t go away and it just got worse,” Isner revealed.
“It’s a terrible feeling. You’re on an island against the best player ever and my foot was killing. I have never broken my foot before and I don’t know if that’s what it is but I can imagine if it is, this is how it would feel.”
Federer was sympathetic. “It was difficult for John at the end,” he said. “I have been there before and the way he was moving showed he wasn’t well.”
The deposed champion was magnanimous in his post-match interview
“Congrats to Roger. He has been too good this tournament,” Isner said, adding perhaps somewhat tongue-in-cheek: “We are so lucky to have you still playing the game.”