TennisSection previews the 2021 Miami Open as Roberto Bautista-Agut (7) meets John Isner (18) in the Round of 16 on Tuesday March 30th, 2021.
A long time rivalry continues as seventh seeded Roberto Bautista-Agut of Spain faces American John Isner in the Round of 16 at the 2021 Miami Open. The two players first played each other back in 2013 and this is sure to be another classic match between them. Their last meeting was here in Miami back in 2019 with Isner winning on that occasion. Will the higher ranked Spaniard get his revenge and get the win here? Or will the huge serving American score the minor upset? It is certain to be a high quality match between two ATP veterans, who will win and advance to the Quarter-Finals?
Roberto Bautista-Agut is currently ranked #12 in the ATP world rankings and is seeded seventh here at the 2021 Miami Open. After an inconsistent 2021 thus far he will be hoping for a deep run here in Miami to kick-start his season. After a Second Round walkover against Lloyd Harris he was severely tested by Jan-Lennard Struff in the Third Round, needing to come back from a set down to seal a 4-6, 6-3, 6-2 victory. His main weapons are his return of serve and flat, accurate groundstrokes, and those will need to be at their best against one of the biggest servers in history in John Isner. He enters this match as the slight favorite but will be wary of his opponent given his advantage in the head to head series and his incredible record at this event.
John Isner is seeded eighteenth here at the 2021 Miami Open and is ranked #28 in the world. Once ranked as high as #8, he has seen his ranking slide over the past few years and will be eager to have a strong season in 2021. The former champion has been in decent form here, defeating Mackenzie McDonald in three sets in the Second Round before upsetting eleventh seed Felix Auger-Aliassime in the Third. He has always done well at the Miami Open, winning in 2018 and reaching the Final in 2019. With his huge serve he can never be discounted on any surface, already serving 31 aces in his two matches so far here. He enters this match as the slight underdog here against Roberto Bautista-Agut but will be very confident due to his past success both in Miami and against his opponent.
The two players have faced each other four times in their career, with John Isner leading the head to head series 3-1. He won here in their last meeting in 2019 and will be aiming to advance here at the tournament he has had some of the best results of his career. Roberto Bautista-Agut is known as one of the fiercest competitors on the ATP Tour, and is always a very dangerous opponent. I expect this match to go down to the wire, and will almost certainly have at least one tie breaker. Despite Isner’s success here, I think that the Spaniard will edge this match in a three set thriller, and advance to the Quarter-Finals here at the 2021 Miami Open. The American is no match for him from the baseline, and all he needs is a break or two throughout the match to get the job done. It really can go either way, but Bautista-Agut has more matches under his belt this year and should advance here.
Free Tennis Pick and Prediction: Roberto Bautista-Agut to win