Men’s Semifinal:  Alexander Zverev (GER) vs.  John Isner (USA)
It’s the second time this season and the third overall that Zverev has gotten the better of Isner. Zverev was trying to get to his first Masters 1000 final, while Isner was trying to get to his fourth Masters final. Would experience give the advantage to Isner? It came to his aid in the tiebreaker; however, it was the stellar play from the German that won the day. Sadly, after Isner took the second set and had all the momentum on his side, it was the younger opponent who showed his resilience and determination by elevating his game early in the third set to get the early break, which broke the will of his more experienced opponent.
The third set was a complete domination by the young German. Perhaps it was ill-advised for Isner to have continued playing in doubles. While doubles enhance your skills on the singles court, the gain comes at a steep physical and mental price. This is more readily apparent as you get older and based on the score in the third set, it was apparent that the toll of playing in both doubles and singles had depleted Isner’s reserves. Isner could find no answer to the Zverev’s serve and not surprisingly, it was Zverev who dominated in the service points won categories.
The changing of the guards is underway and Zverev took another huge step in the direction to the top with his 6-4, 6-7(5), 6-1 defeat of Isner. He will have to battle and conquer the nerves of the occasion tomorrow along with his opponent if he wants to hoist his first Masters trophy. Is he up for the challenge? I have no doubt that he will give it his best effort and comport himself in a manner befitting the moment.
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