For an NFL stadium, it will be a different kind of Sunday showdown: Roger Federer against John Isner.
Both won Friday and advanced to the final of the Miami Open, which moved this year to the Dolphins’ complex from its longtime Key Biscayne home.
Federer dominated a semifinal battle of the ages, beating 19-year-old Canadian Denis Shapovalov 6-2, 6-4. Defending champion Isner also bested a Canadian teenager, 18-year-old qualifier Felix Auger-Aliassime, 7-6 (3), 7-6 (4).
Both finalists give the new tournament site a thumbs-up, partly because they’ve done so well the past week.
“The venue is absolutely fantastic,” said Isner, a big football fan. “To play in the stadium — the Super Bowl will be here next year — it’s pretty amazing.”
The atmosphere was lively for both matches, and each time experience triumphed. The age gap with Shapovalov was the largest of the 37-year-old Federer’s career, and he used a wide array of shotmaking to take control with two early breaks.
“It was a tactical match by me,” Federer said. “I’m happy I was able to play with variations.”
Seeded No. 4, Federer improved to 17-2 this year. He lost in this month’s Indian Wells final to Dominic Thiem and now seeks his fourth Miami Open title.
Federer is 5-2 against Isner, but they haven’t played each other since 2015.
Isner, now 33, won his only ATP Masters title a year ago on Key Biscayne.