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.
About the Miami Open presented by Itaú
The 2018 Miami Open will be played March 19-April 1 at the Crandon Park Tennis Center in Miami. The two-week combined event is owned and operated by IMG. The Miami Open is one of nine ATP Masters 1000 Series events on the ATP calendar, a Premier Mandatory event on the WTA calendar, and features the top men's and women's tennis players in the world. The tournament is widely regarded as the most glamorous on the ATP and WTA calendars because of its exotic Miami location, thriving nightlife, five-star hotels and restaurants, beautiful weather and beaches, and its celebrity appeal. For ticket information, call +1.305.442.3367 or visit www.miamiopen.com.
Itau is the largest Latin America privately owned bank, with approximately 94,000 employees and operations in 19 countries throughout the Americas, Asia and Europe. Itaú’s relationship with sport goes back to the 1970s, when Itaú first sponsored the Itaú Tennis Cup in Brazil in 1970. Itaú has been a sponsor of the Miami Open for the last six years, and also sponsors the Rio Open, the only combined ATP/WTA event in South America. Itaú also supports the Brazilian Women’s Tennis Circuit, only female professional tournament in South America, certified by the Brazilian Tennis Confederation (CBT) and the International Tennis Federation (ITF), as well as the Tennis Institute Training Center, responsible for the development of young, new talent.
IMG is a global leader in sports, fashion, events and media, operating in more than 30 countries. The company represents and manages some of the world’s greatest sports figures and fashion icons; stages hundreds of live events and branded entertainment experiences annually; and is one of the largest independent producers and distributors of sports media. IMG also specializes in sports training; league development; and marketing, media and licensing for brands, sports organizations and collegiate institutions.