Miami Open Day 7 Preview Grigor Dimitrov Vs John Isner

Dimitrov

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Day 7 of the ATP 1000 Miami Open features Grigor Dimitrov taking on home hope John Isner. The Tennis Review previews the action and predicts the winner.

This clash of the big serve-big forehand combo of Isner versus the shot-making and variety of Dimitrov fully deserves its night match status.

This will be the first meeting between the two. Dimitrov has a good record against big servers on hard court surfaces- he dealt Raonic a defeat at the 2014 Australian Open, and has wins over Kevin Anderson (leads 5-1). Isner, meanwhile, has a mixed record versus shotmakers, being 1-4 versus Federer, but 2-2 versus Gasquet and 2-1 versus Wawrinka.

Neither man, though has done particularly well in Miami. Dimitrov is 5-4 at the event, with his best result being the last sixteen. He also scored a win over 2010 finalist Tomas Berdych in 2012.  Isner is 8-7 and has been to the last 16 twice (2011 and 2014).

The serve, being an Isner match, will play a huge role in the outcome. In 2015, Isner has won 96 percent of his service games with an average first serve of 71 percent, and he wins 83 percent of points behind that delivery. Dimitrov has impressive stats himself, but he cannot compete with Isner in that department.

But neither can Isner compete well with Dimitrov on the return, though both are far from being the best returners on the ATP tour.

Dimitrov has the better return game of the two in 2015- he has converted 34 percent of break points to Isner’s 22, and wins 21 percent of his service games to Isner’s 8.

The slower surface will help Dimitrov out on the return, but it is unlikely he will get many looks at a second serve.

This match will most likely come down to tiebreakers, and with Isner having the advantage of the serve, that big forehand of his to swing at short returns and the crowd behind him, Dimitrov will be up against it.

Dimitrov is struggling, too. He recently lost to Robredo in Indian Wells, throwing in two double faults when serving to stay in the third set at 5-6, another bad loss in a worrying string. Isner, meanwhile, is one of the game’s toughest players who will not blink when things get tight and will trust in his serve to get him through it, and against Dimitrov right now, it most probably will.

Prediction: Isner in three sets.

Commentary by Christian Deverille @thetennisreview

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