Teenagers provide glimpse of future at Miami Open

Arnold Nichols
April 1, 2019

In conclusion, Roger Federer said, "But I still think they all will be back this year at some point, hopefully, and the year-end hopefully will be incredibly exciting".

"I made some minor adjustments and I was happy with my variations".

After reaching the third Masters 1000 semifinal of his burgeoning career, Shapovalov draws the legendary Roger Federer on Friday.

Yet serving for the set, the 18-year-old's inexperience and nerves were exposed.

"No. 1, you want to connect", Federer said of how to handle a serve like Isner's.

"What a week its been for me", said the fourth seed. "Yeah, that's just very tough to swallow".

"It's a chance you can't miss, serving two times for the set", he said.

"Maybe he was a little bit tired because he came through qualifying". But after an opening set hiccup against Radu Albot, Federer's been far more dominant - he hasn't even needed a tiebreaker! - while Isner got a little lucky to get through Roberto Bautista Agut in straights (the Spaniard led in the second set breaker), Kyle Edmund also had an early lead in the first set breaker and then FAA twice served for the match. Auger-Aliassime served at 5-3, double-faulted once and then hit a swinging volley into the net on break point.

In a matchup of elite return against elite serve, Federer's return game gained him an advantage from the start.

To complicate matters for Isner, he said the top of his foot started to hurt during the first set, and the problem grew worse as the match progressed.

With the way the season is going, just anything is possible these days. I won the junior world title in 1998 at Key Biscayne, and played juniors in Flamingo Park.

As usual, Isner's serve was his big weapon.

He finished strong against Auger-Aliassime, whacking three aces in the final tiebreaker, the last on a 140 miles per hour serve that was his fastest of the match.

With this being the final hard-court tournament before the clay-court season begins, both would look to finish on a high.

One of the most memorable moments for Félix Auger-Aliassime during the Miami Open was meeting former Toronto Raptor and Miami Heat basket-baller Chris Bosh. I wasn't able stay at his level. That's what I'm looking at now the next four or five weeks, figuring out how we are going to go about it.

Meanwhile, the Swiss will benefit from his massive experience and his exceptional return. After conceding his opening set of the tournament to Radu Albot, he was almost flawless from there, blitzing the field for his fourth tournament title. I didn't play one point - not one shot - on clay previous year.

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