Barty endures delays, ousts Kontaveit to reach Miami final

Barty endures delays, ousts Kontaveit to reach Miami final

Javier Howell
March 31, 2019

Auger-Aliassime, 5-0 previously against top 20 opponents, was the youngest male semifinalist in the tournament's 35-year history.

Coric fended off that set point with a service victor and created a break chance of his own in the following game, denied by a serve&volley combo from Felix who won all five points on serve in the tie break, going 4-2 up when Borna hit a double fault and securing the opener after a backhand error from the Croat at 6-3. "I think I'm seeing the long term, and right now I'm just enjoying, you know, enjoying every day, enjoying every match, because you never know what's gonna happen next".

That would be the best lesson Denis Shapovalov could take away from a 6-2, 6-4 loss to Roger Federer in Friday evening's second semi-final at the Miami Open. "Yeah, that's just very tough to swallow".

The Canadian began the year ranked No. 108, now in the live ranking he's No. 33 in the world. "I didn't feel like it was the focus or concentration". "It's just that point in the ATP, you know, you still have kind of the legends, you know, Rog, Rafa, still there on top, but you have a lot of newcomers with talent kind of gunning for them".

Auger-Aliassime served for both sets, but Isner broke each time by taking advantage of double-faults, and used his big serve to control the tiebreakers.

"A lot of things are working, obviously", Auger-Aliassime said.

The former Miami Heat basketball towered over Felix Auger-Aliassime and Borna Coric ahead of their quarterfinal match.

"Yeah, we are definitely seeing it and feeling it", Auger-Aliassime said of the increased expectations for the young players.

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Auger-Aliassime, 18, had been 5-0 against top-20 opponents prior to his loss to Isner, now ranked no. 9 in the world.

The 20-time Grand Slam champion was generous in his praise of his 19-year-old opponent, saying: "Denis is a great player already and he'll be even better in the future". Maybe finish the points at the net a little bit more.

"You just hope that the stars align, that you pick the right side, that he picks the wrong side, that maybe he misses a serve, that you can put him in uncomfortable situations time and time again, and at the end somehow you find a way". "Then I will start training for the clay season".

He was scheduled to return to action at a clay-court event in Morocco starting April 8, but said after Friday's match that he will likely skip that event and start his clay season at the Masters 1000 event in Monte Carlo the following week.

That was hardly an obstacle for one of the most talented youngsters in the world, claiming seven triumphs so far in Florida to reach the semi-final as the first player born in 2000 who achieved that at this level! "We'll see what I can do".

Isner has also played in eight of the last nine Atlanta Open finals, winning that event the last two years.

"It's unbelievable", the 33-year-old told the crowd after his victory. "I think I have been just improving in the last couple of weeks", he said. "I'm very, very happy".

The women's final Saturday will match No. 5 Karolina Pliskova of the Czech Republic against No. 12 Ashleigh Barty of Australia.