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Sloane Stephens wins Miami Open title

02 April, 2018, 11:20 | Author: Sylvester Abbott
  • French Open champion Ostapenko made a series of unforced errors

In a final between two reigning Grand Slam champions, it was US Open champion Sloane Stephens who claimed the Miami Open title on Saturday, with the American beating French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko to win her sixth career title, and her first at Premier Mandatory level.

Ostapenko, 20, came into the match without having dropped a set or lost a tie-break during the entire Miami fortnight, but both streaks ended at the hands of her American opponent, who has endured a slump since winning at Flushing Meadows last September. She improved to 6-0 in finals, and will break into the top 10 for first time next week at 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.

Ostapenko has earned 650 WTA ranking points for advancing to the final of the Miami tournament. I have had some incredible experiences here, and I'll definitely miss it. "I have wanted to be in the top 10 for so long".

The American, who beat Garbine Muguruza, Angelique Kerber and Victoria Azarenka on her way to the final, then raised her game to wrap up victory easily, proving much more solid in set two as Ostapenko remained erratic.

Sloane hit just six winners, but won this match in straight sets.

Stephens had shown improved speed as she continued to return Ostapenko's hits, before finally coming alive in attack at 3-1 with a deft drop-shot and a brilliant cross-court victor as the finish line came into sight.

She wobbled again leading 6-2 in the pivotal tiebreaker, hitting unforced errors to lose consecutive set points. "I don't know why but I think it's because of you guys, so I want you guys to understand how much you help me when I'm out here", Stephens told the fans during the trophy ceremony on Stadium court. "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. 'I was thinking that my life was over because the only thing I had was tennis and that was the only thing that I knew, ' Stephens admitted.

While we are on the subject of on-court interactions - Kamau Murray and Stephens make a great team - Stephens' form after her win may have raised some eyebrows but snapping her losing steak has shown she is back to her previous motivation.

It's something I really look forward to. But she had momentum on her side, and even had a set point against Ostapenko in the first set.



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