Isner tops Miami title with classiest victory speech

John Isner has capped off the biggest title in his 14-year tennis career with a classy victory speech that matched his incredible achievement.

The American held every service game to rally past young gun Alexander Zverev 6-7 (4-7) 6-4 6-4 in the Miami Open final.

The victory was the cherry on top of a superb tournament for Isner, who endured a difficult start to 2018 which included an early-round exit at Indian Wells in his lead-in to Miami.

"I couldn't have scripted this. I came into this tournament, I won one ATP [World Tour] match all year and was playing very poorly," Isner said.

"I won my first match in three sets and that's how tennis goes, you start to gain a little confidence and next thing you know things start to roll your way."

Isner is the first US player since Andy Roddick in 2010 to lift the Miami title and will reclaim a career high world ranking of ninth after the victory - the 13th title of his career.

The 6-foot-10 Isner looked twice as tall skipping about with a grin brighter than the Florida sunshine and had some wonderful words for the young German during his winner's speech.

Isner, who said he's known Zverev since he was 14, knew that the German was going to be a future tennis star.

"He's (Zverev's) won two of these (Masters titles) before so I appreciate you letting me have one," the American began by saying."

"Dude I'm 12 year older than you, you're 20 years old. You're four in the world or whatever you are.

"You have the brightest future ahead of you. You have the greatest team with you. You do everything the right way.

Isner's words for Zverev were all class. Pic: Getty

"I the work you put in and you deserve everything you've accomplished so far and everything you're going to accomplish in the future so keep pushing along and you're going to be at the very top."

Both Zverev and Isner were faultless in their service games and the first set predictably went the distance before fourth seed Zverev prevailed when Isner sprayed a backhand wide.

The break, however, finally came for Isner at 4-4 in the second set and when Zverev, who missed the chance to return to number three in the world with this defeat, failed to hold at 5-4 in the third, Isner sealed the best win of his career with an ace.

The German, whose frustrations boiled over when he smashed his racket on the ground after that critical break, proved his billing as one of stars of the future by making his third Masters final and now heads to Spain where Germany play in the quarter-final of the Davis Cup.

"I missed more shots today than I did the whole tournament. I played badly from the baseline but it's not easy against John," said Zverev who admitted he will have just one day of practice before taking on the Spaniards in Valencia. "He always makes it difficult.

"I kind of lost the match myself but I have known him since I was 14 so although I am never happy to lose, I am happy for him that he's won his first Masters."

Isner, who turns 33 this month, had previously lost three ATP Masters 1000 finals.

"You can't replicate moments like this," Isner said afterwards.

"I'm toward the latter part of my career; this is the best moment of my career."

"I've been here three other times, and I've lost three times on this stage.

"I was just ready for it."

With agencies

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