So Thiem lost 6-3, 4-6, 1-6 to Murray but like I said I am very excited about this player and he achieved what he wanted to in Miami. He was the better player in the first set but Murray raised his game in the second set and went a break up. Thiem broke back and leveled at 4-4 after trailing 4-1 but then he seemed to run out of gas because Murray won eight of the last nine games. Thiem is not used to winning this many matches and I think he could have easily won this if he was more match fit. But the run in Miami will give him a huge boost for the clay court season and I think he is now back to the form he was in towards the end of last year when he rose to #36 in the rankings. Or close to it anyway.
Yesterday was the turn of the top half and Isner was back to his best after a long dry spell, defeating Nishikori 6-4, 6-3. That is a tremendous win but personally I don’t care much for Isner. His game with his big serve is a total bore to me and so is his personality. I also don’t like the fact that all his best results basically come in his own country. That shows me he isn’t really an international man which you need to be to be a great tennis player. Finally Djokovic had another tough match against Ferrer but he remains unmoved in his quest for a third Indian Wells/Miami double and a fifth Miami title. Ferrer took an early lead of 4-1 but Djokovic refused to let him get away and took the first set 7-5. In the second set Ferrer showed great fight to break back at 4-5 and Djokovic serving for the match.
But again Djokovic was too strong as he wrapped up the next two games to win 7-5, 7-5. He wasn’t at his best but the great player that he is he still found a way to get it done in straight sets against an incredibly tenacious player. Now he probably faces his biggest challenge yet though. Dolgopolov was a massive challenge but Isner has always been an awkward opponent for Djokovic. Even though Djokovic leads the head-to-head 6-2 they have always had tough matches and Isner has beaten Djokovic twice in the US, once in Indian Wells in 2012 and once in Cincy in 2013. So he certainly has the potential to upset Djokovic. On the other hand Djokovic does have great returns so you would think if anyone can neutralize Isner’s huge serve it would be Djokovic.
I personally think Isner’s serve may be the biggest weapon in tennis. Not only is his first serve massive but he gets massive amounts of kick on his second serve which is especially effective in the ad court to the right hander’s backhand. Djokovic has one of the best two-handed backhands of all time but even for him Isner’s serve is awkward to deal with. And he isn’t given much rhythm from the base line. Knowing Djokovic though he will probably find a way and win Miami. I personally think it would be cool if he wins Miami because I like to see players break records. And it would do Djokovic’s confidence good for the clay court season where he needs to finally slay the monster at Roland Garros!