Roger Federer lifted the 101st title of his remarkable career on Sunday in dominating style, beating ATP Miami Open defending champion John Isner 6-1, 6-4.
Federer, who has skipped the whole clay court season for the past two years, declared the triumph over the big-serving American in just 63 minutes was an ideal performance from which to launch a French Open bid.“I will have to take baby steps going back onto the clay, I have played so little in the last few years so I don’t know what to expect but what this win does is takes even more pressure off me,” Federer said.
“I am excited. It’s a good challenge,” added Federer of trying to dethrone Rafael Nadal at Roland Garros when the second Grand Slam of the season begins on May 26.
Federer has been in brilliant form in South Florida, recovering superbly from losing the final in Indian Wells earlier this month to emphatically beat Isner, who was badly struggling with a foot problem at the end of the title match at Hard Rock Stadium.
Federer will not appear at the next Masters event in Monte Carlo but is slated to play in Madrid at the beginning of May.
“Madrid will be ‘let’s see what happens’ and then obviously I want to be ready for Paris and I hope all that hard work is going to pay off for the grass and hard court season,” he said.
Against Isner, Federer seized control immediately as a break in the very first game sapped Isner’s confidence and allowed Federer to aggressively gain control of a match which he never looked like losing, especially after the American’s foot problem worsened.Isner was struggling badly and was heard telling the trainer during a medical timeout that he feared he had broken his foot.
“Somewhere during the first set I started feeling pain on top of my foot and it didn’t go away and it just got worse,” Isner said.
Isner’s spirit was crushed after he dropped the first set in only 23 minutes.