Roger Federer is officially the king of Miami after a championship masterclass saw the Swiss breeze past defending champion John Isner 6-1, 6-4 in the final of the Miami Open and notch up his 101st ATP Masters title.
Federer was utterly dominant on the night at the Hard Rock Stadium as he dismantled the big-serving American in just over an hour. Federer broke his opponent's serve on four occasions which included three breaks in the first set and the solitary break in the second was good enough to earn him the straight sets victory. On his own serve, Federer won 32 of the 35 points.
Sunday's victory was the Swiss maestro's 28th ATP Masters 1000 title in his 50th championship match and he was naturally elated. "It was a dream start, relaxing my nerves [to break in the opening game]," said Federer. "What a week it's been for me. 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."
This victory puts Federer on the third spot in the list of ATP Masters 1000 titles behind world number 1 Novak Djokovic (32 titles) and familiar foe Rafael Nadal (33 titles). From the very beginning of the match, the Basel native had disrupted the flow of the North Carolina native. From forcing Isner to come to the net, to pouncing on every short ball, Federer was on the prowl.
"I think I was very clear on how I wanted to play, so I think that helped that I was able to not just have the plan but then being able to execute," said Federer. "I just can be very happy on either end, return and serve, and that's why I'm so happy that I was able to produce a performance like this in a finals, because this is what you train for and play for that constantly keeps your level going up as the tournament progresses. And this was my best. I'm very excited."
This was Federer's fourth victory in Miami having previously won titles in 2005, 2006 and 2017. When asked to pick his favourite among the pack, he referred to his victory over Rafael Nadal in 2005 wherein he came back from two sets down to win a third set tiebreaker before eventually winning the match in dramatic fashion.
"So the other three were - well, the one with Rafa, I guess, was very special in many ways," Federer said. "I felt like it reflected who I have become until that moment. Was that 2005? 2004? 2006? It's a blur. You know, being able to fight back, being able to find a way to win, I know I got lucky in that match, but then ended up playing unbelievable tennis in the fifth set and all that. I really feel like it was a big moment for me in my life, in my career there, that match."
That match in 2005 finished 2-6, 6-7, 7-6, 6-3, 6-1 in favour of Federer to hand the Swiss his maiden championship victory in Miami.