Sloane Stephens Edges Pass Ostapenko To Win Miami title

Miami Open Collins lays out idol Venus to set up semi-final clash with Ostapenko

Miami Open Collins lays out idol Venus to set up semi-final clash with Ostapenko

Defending US Open champion Sloane Stephens battled past big-hitting Jelena Ostapenko to claim the Miami Open title in straight sets, 7-6 (5), 6-1.

Stephens, who has now won all six finals she has competed in, had been determined to win the last tournament at Key Biscayne before it moves next year.

French Open champion Ostapenko had not dropped a set all tournament until that point, and immediately broke the American in the second set.

The victory will be even sweeter for Stephens next Monday when she'll make her long-awaited Top 10 debut, landing at world No.9. I think that it took a really long time to get there, just to get to that 10, because I was at 11, and I'm so exhausted of them saying career-high ranking no. 11.

The 20-year-old Ostapenko, now at career-high No. 5 ranking, was No. 64 entering last year's Miami Open.

Obviously, I missed the last clay court season, so I'm super excited to get back out there. "When she was hitting great shots, I just accepted that some good shots were going to be hit and just didn't harp on it too much", she added. The Latvian then handed Stephens another chance to serve out the first set, though she proceeded to double fault on break point down to take what had been an error-prone set to a tiebreak.

Earlier, sixth seed Ostapenko was far from her best in her quarter-final, spraying the court with 44 unforced errors and having her serve broken six times on a windy day.

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In the span of two weeks, Sloane Stephens definitely enjoyed her familiar surroundings.

'When I changed my perspective and I went and worked at Tennis Channel and I was finishing up school, like, I had so many things to look forward to and so many things that I knew in my life that I could accomplish.

That made it 5-1, and on championship point moments later, Ostapenko sent a forehand wide.

"I'm just starting to finally put all of the pieces together". "I just wanted to make sure I got my game back where I wanted it to be", Stephens said in a courtside post-match interview.

"Even when I am down or people are doubting me, there are so many great opportunities out there I didn't worry".

She added: "I remember when I found out I needed surgery previous year after the Australian Open I was so down but ultimately it gave me a different perspective. I just needed a little bit of a reminder to just go for it if I wanted to take the title".

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