Isner fights back to beat teen Auger-Aliassime in Miami semis

Coach explains how Auger Aliassime benefited from training with Federer

18-year-old Felix Auger-Aliassime became the youngest Miami Open semi-finalist in the tournament's 35-year history by defeating Croatia's Borna Coric 7-6 (3), 6-2 in the quarter-finals."Playing Borna, who's been established for a few years now, I definitely didn't expect to win".

Looking ahead to facing hard-serving Isner, Federer said in his on-court postmatch interview, "I honestly love big servers, to watch them, (to see) if they're going to ace every second or third point".

About the Federer match, Shapovalov admitted: "I started off a little bit tight". The matches I have played against him I know can be extremely close always, just because of his sheer possibilities that he has on the serve.

Auger-Aliassime is just the second qualifier in the last 20 years to reach the Miami quarterfinals.

John Isner is into the Miami Open final, where he will face Roger Federer or Denis Shapovalov.

Isner now awaits the victor of three-times champion Roger Federer and another young Canadian hot shot, 19-year-old Denis Shapovalov, who play later on Friday.

Canadian Denis Shapovalov's run at the Miami Open was put to an end by the man he grew up cheering for.

"It's great for the game because they will carry the sport when we're long gone and we'll be sitting on the couch watching those guys slug it out", Federer said about the young Canadians. The 18-year age difference was the largest that Federer has ever faced in an ATP match.

"I enjoyed it. I think I played very well".

"I couldn't put a second serve (in) any more".

"It's a chance you can't miss, serving two times for the set, and just - I don't know".

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. It also would mark the second all-Canadian ATP final, five years after Milos Raonic beat Vasek Pospisil in the Citi Open final in Washington, D.C. A year ago Shapovalov lost his opening match in Monte Carlo to Tsitsipas while Auger-Aliassime was beaten in the first round by Mischa Zverev. When it finally did get going, fans weren't disappointed as the hard-hitting players produced regular winners.

With the score tied at 1-1 in the third set, Shapovalov took the lead for good when he converted on his fourth break-point opportunity of the game.

"Coric is one of the most solid players on the tour from the baseline, super disciplined", Auger-Aliassime said.

It's fair - because he's even surprising himself.

Backed by his huge serve, the 33 year-old American fired his 21st ace to complete the victory after one hour and 53 minutes to book a spot in Sunday's final against Roger Federer. Auger-Aliassime is the youngest player left in a tournament where plenty of youngsters have made splashes, yet he says there's no time right now to think about how rapidly his stock is rising.

Auger-Aliassime spent most of his previous season switching between the Challenger and ATP circuit in a bid to build some form and momentum. For me, that's exciting because it's like a penalty shootout in (soccer), it's just in tennis.

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