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Stephens claims Miami title

02 April 2018

Collins, belying her 93rd ranking, pounded victor after winner to beat fellow American Williams at her own game and set up a semi-final against French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko.

Stephens took the next six games on the spin to win her sixth WTA title, while also maintaining a ideal record in finals.

Ostapenko came into the encounter having not lost a set, an impressive statistic considering she has taken part in five tie-breaks over the last 12 days. But she shook her slump on Key Biscayne, improved to 6-0 in finals and will break into the top 10 for first time next week at No. 9. The best explanation for why may have come from ESPN commentator and former U.S. Fed Cup captain Mary Joe Fernandez today: "Margin really helps in moments of tension", Fernandez said.

There were boos ringing around Crandon Park when tournament director James Blake told the crowd that he would see them next year at the Hard Rock Stadium. "I've had some awesome experiences here, and I'll definitely miss it". "I'm excited for the move". Jelena Ostapenko, the extrovert Latvian who wowed Roland Garros just a day after turning 20, was the youngest Miami finalist in nearly a decade and could become the first titlist for her far-off nation.

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Stephens hit 6 winners to 21 unforced errors, while Ostapenko had 25 winners to 48 errors.

The win is huge for Stephens moving forward.

Sloane Stephens of the United States celebrates with the Butch Buchholz championship trophy after her match against Jelena Ostapenko of Latvia.

Prior to her arrival in Miami, Stephens' win-loss record since the US Open had been a miserable 3-10. "I just wanted to make sure I got my game back where I wanted to be".

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"This place is pretty special to me", Stephens said.

She wobbled again leading 6-2 in the pivotal tiebreaker, hitting unforced errors to lose consecutive set points. "And even when I was down after the US Open, I didn't have my best results and people were down on me, I just - you know, I said to myself, There's so many great opportunities out there, and every week you're not going to be able to take the title, you're not going to be able to win, but it's basically the people who bounce back the best are the people who are able to basically secure those opportunities".

Ostapenko, seeded sixth in Miami, needed a strong start to the second set and got just that as she broke in the very opening game. But she had momentum on her side, and even had a set point against Ostapenko in the first set. "It was incredible they came out and supported me".

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Stephens claims Miami title