By Tucker Verdi
There are one-sided tennis matches because one player is dominant. There are one-sided tennis matches because one player is tired or injured. There are tennis matches full of ugly points, which the crowd largely sits out on. And then there are good tennis matches.
This was a good tennis match. Alexander Zverev versus Pablo Carreno Busta for the right to play John Isner in the final of the 2018 Miami Open. Zverev would win 7-6(4), 6-2 in a closely fought match where the better player won the biggest points and score the victory.
Zverev was down love-3 in the first set tiebreak, and Carreno Busta had a chance to strike. The 20-year-old German was asked what he said to himself in that moment.
“I don’t talk to myself,” he quipped, “that’s for crazy people.”
With a grin, he explained, “I tried to be more aggressive. Made some winners. I mean, made some backhand winners finally in the match and found my rhythm. I think after that, I started to play really well, not only in tiebreak but also the second set.”
Zverev took control after claiming the first set, but Carreno Busta was never out of it, with long rallies defining even the lopsided 6-2 second set.
What drove Zverev was the energetic crowd at Crandon Park last night as evidence by a beautiful passing shot he made and then a finger wag as if to say, “bring it on.”
“Obviously get the crowd involved, especially Miami, I think, where the crowd is quite loud, quite powerful, it's always an important thing for me.”
Zverev moves onto the final where he will go for his third Masters 1000 title. His opponent is John Isner, a man he owns a head-to-head record of 3-0 against. But he isn’t going to let that make him comfortable.
“Look, it's going to be a completely different match. I think he's going to hit a lot of aces, a lot of winners. You know, it's going to be completely different match.”
The two towering players – Zverev at 6’6” and Isner at 6’10” – will take the court Sunday, April 1 at 1:00 PM for all the marbles.
Based on the way the two have played thus far, another great tennis match is in store.