John Isner ended Juan Martin del Potro’s 15-match winning streak in straight sets 6-1 7-6 (7-2) and secure a place in the Miami Open final in one hour 22 minutes.
“I am so happy,” said 32-year-old Isner, bidding for a first Masters 1000 title. “He is so tired and has played so many games, and although the first set was quick I knew it wouldn’t be like that in the second.
“I have played a lot of big matches and not been able to get such a good start – but I am playing some of the best tennis I have played in such a long time.”
Del Potro said: “I played well. I did a good tournament and I go home with many things to celebrate.
“John deserved to win today. He serves unbelievable. He plays great tennis on the tie-break. He was too good for me.
“He has a better serve than me, and then when he plays as good as today, he’s one of the tougher guys on Tour.
Sascha Zverev beat Spain’s Carreno Busta in straight sets. The 20 year old German has won two Masters 1000 titles, both in 2017.
“I didn’t feel I was playing my best in the beginning of the first set, a lot of errors,” Zverev said.
“I was down in the tie-break and I was like, I’m losing anyway I might as well be aggressive. So that’s what I did, I hit a few winners. [I was] very fortunate to win the first set.”
John Isner will meet Alexander Zverev in finals.
Sloane Stephens and Jelena Ostapenko won their respective semi-finals in Florida on Thursday and will face each other in finals for the first time.
French Open champion Ostapenko beat unseeded American Danielle Collins in straight sets 7-6(1), 6-3 to reach finals.
Going into the match against Stephens, Ostapenko said, “I think I’m calmer and also mentally stronger than I have been.”
“I’m looking forward to another great match,” Ostapenko said. “I think I have to be very aggressive and go after shots.”
US Open champion Stephens ended Victoria Azarenka’s hopes of a fairytale comeback by beating her 3-6, 6-2, 6-1 in a three set match.
“I knew I had to stay in it. Victoria is a great champion,” said Stephens, 25. “I kept battling and I got a little momentum going in the second set.
“Growing up in South Florida, this is so incredible to be in the final.
“I knew I had to focus on my side of the court and be solely focused on myself.”