Tennis: Federer downs injured Isner for 101st career title

Roger Federer of Switzerland celebrates with the winners' trophy against John Isner of US (not pictured) in the final during day 14 of the Miami Open tennis on March 31, 2019 in Miami Gardens, Florida.
Roger Federer of Switzerland celebrates with the winners' trophy against John Isner of US (not pictured) in the final during day 14 of the Miami Open tennis on March 31, 2019 in Miami Gardens, Florida.PHOTO: AFP

MIAMI (AFP) - Roger Federer captured his 101st career singles title on Sunday (March 31), defeating American John Isner 6-1, 6-4 in the final of the ATP Miami Open.

The 37-year-old Swiss star needed only 63 minutes to dispatch the defending champion and capture his fourth title at Miami and 28th Masters trophy.

Roger Federer defeated a hobbling John Isner 6-1 6-4 for his 101th career title at the Miami Open on Sunday.  Holder Isner struggled to continue late in the second set, hampered by pain in his left foot.  Federer, who won his fourth Miami title, broke Isner three times in a blazing opening set. 

“It was a dream start, relaxing my nerves,” the Swiss said in a courtside interview.  But the American fought back in the second, leveling the set 3-3 and 4-4 before the pain made it difficult to continue.  Federer took the final two games for the victory. 

“What a week its been for me,” said the Swiss. “I’m just so happy right now. It’s unbelievable. I played here in 1999 for the first time and here I am in 2019. It means a lot to me.”

Only American Jimmy Connors, with 109, has more career singles titles.  Even before the injury slowed Isner, Federer was the master, tempering Isner’s big serves and winning 32 of 35 points on his own serve. 

Federer elected to receive to open the match and the strategy paid off as he broke Isner.  The American held on the third game but Federer took the next four. 

Isner played much better in the second set, but in the end the pain became to much for him to mount an effective defense.