Roger Federer won his 101st title on Sunday as injured opponent John Isner limped off with an injured left foot in a 6-1, 6-4 defeat at the Miami Masters.
The Swiss claimed his fourth trophy at the tournament and second here since 2017 in just 62 minutes as he played his fifth Miami final.
The victory, backed up by his Dubai title last month and a final two weeks ago in Indian Wells, thrusts Federer into the season points lead in the race to the ATP Finals in London in November.
Isner was seen twice by the trainer for pain in his left foot; the towering 6.08 metre American played the pro forma final two games on pure willpower.
He saved a match point before sending a return long on Federer’s second winning chance.
The 20-time Grand Slam champion Swiss icon claimed his 28th career masters 1000 trophy as he played his 50th final in the elite series.
“It’s been a super-long journey for me here,” Federer said of his tennis in Miami, where the played as a wild card in 1999 and reached his first Masters final in 2002 against Andre Agassi, losing to the American.
“Miami was my first event I travelled to internationally as a junior,” added the 1998 world junior champion who was crowned at the former tournament site of Crandon Park.
Federer will now take a break until early May in Madrid, when he is due to play his only clay-court event prior to competing at Roland Garros for the fist time since 2017.
The Swiss broke three times in a brief 23-minute first set before starting the second with a break and never facing a break point throughout.
Isner had won his last 11 matches in Miami after taking the title a year ago. he had not lost a set until he ran into Federer, who also beat him in a Masters final seven years ago at Indian Wells.
“Roger was too good today – like he’s always been at this event and during his entire career,” Isner said.
“It’s incredible what you are doing, we are so lucky to have you in the game.
“We want you literally to never retire,” he told the 37-year-old world-beater.”
John Isner has no clue about the foot injury which came form seemingly nowhere during his 6-1, 6-4, Miami Masters finals loss to Roger Federer on Sunday.
Despite the trainer suggesting to him during a second set medical timeout that he might have a broken bone, the big man is willing to wait for a second opinion from a doctor.
“Somewhere along in the first set I started feeling some pain on the top of my foot, and it didn’t go away. It only kept getting worse,” the defending champion said as he went down in Federer’s 101st career title win.
“I’ve never had a broken foot, if that’s what it feels like, I have no clue.”
“I’ve have never had anything like this before, ever. I have stayed healthy throughout my career. Something happened today.”
Isner said it was not one particular moment::
“I just all of a sudden started feeling something, and it just kept getting a little worse, getting worse and worse as the match went on.
“It’s a terrible feeling, because you’re on an island out there, and, you have no teammates to hide behind and going up against the greatest player ever playing in this incredible atmosphere, and my foot’s killing me.”
Isner sensed the end was near no matter what the status of his aching foot.
“Not that I would have won the match, anyways, let’s make that clear. But I think I could have made for a more interesting match and one that was a little more fun.”
The 6.08 metre giant said he never considered retiring in the closing game after his second medical visit on court.
“I knew at 3-4 I wasn’t going to win. I can tell you that much… which is a weird feeling.
“Roger was too good. In the first five games, I was fine. Nothing was bothering me. He was all over me.”
“Then this weird pain on the top of my foot, we’ll see what is. I’m hoping it’s nothing, but we’ll see.”