Sloane Stephens wins Miami Open title: US Open champion takes out Jelena Ostapenko 7-6 6-1 to win maiden Premier Mandatory title

Leye Aduloju in WTA 1 Apr 2018
  • Sloane Stephens defeated Jelena Ostapenko 7-6 6-1 to win the Miami Open crown- her first Premier Mandatory title
  • Stephens will make her top-ten debut on Monday following Miami title-run
  • Watch and bet on tennis live at Unibet > live streaming > tennis
Sloane Stephens. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)

Sloane Stephens claimed the Miami Open title after a 7-6 6-1 victory over Roland Garros champion, Jelena Ostapenko.

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In a match between two reigning Grand Slam champions, it was Stephens’ defensive prowess than trumped Ostapenko’s aggression, as the reigning US Open champion emerged with her maiden Premier Mandatory title.



A topsy-turvy start to the match featured four straight breaks, but Stephens always had her nose in front and earned a couple of opportunities to serve out the opening set. However, she fluffed her lines on both occasions, as Ostapenko broke back to eventually force a tie break.

Stephens played a solid breaker, carving out four set points at 6-2, and while Ostapenko saved three of them, the American would not be denied, closing out the set when Ostapenko sent a backhand into the net. Ostapenko threatened a fightback with a break in the opening game of the second set, but Stephens hit back immediately. The American ran away with the match from there, winning the last six games to take away the title in the final staging of the Miami Open at Key Biscayne. The tournament will be held at the Hard Rock Stadium from 2019.

“I'm definitely happy that I could be the last person to win here, Stephens said after the match. “I have had some amazing experiences here, and I'll definitely miss it. But I just feel fortunate that I was able to do that here in South Florida with all my friends and family watching.”  
“This place is pretty special to me…I grew up playing tennis here. When the USTA was here, we played Orange Bowl and all sorts of tournaments here.”

Victory in Miami capped a spectacular return to form for Stephens. The 25-year-old struggled after last year’s US Open success, losing eight matches in a row after Flushing Meadows, but having shown signs of resurgence in recent weeks, it all came together once again at Key Biscayne, where she took out four reigning or former Grand Slam champions on her way to a sixth career title. Amongst her victims over the last week were Wimbledon champion, Garbine Muguruza, two-time Grand Slam champions, Angelique Kerber and Victoria Azarenka, and reigning French Open champion, Ostapenko in Saturday’s final.

Ostapenko was typically swash-buckling in her approach, hitting 25 winners, but she also committed 48 unforced errors, a disparity which ultimately cost her the title. A lot of it was down to Stephens’ doggedness in defence, often forcing her Latvian opponent to go for too much.

“I knew that I was just going to have to run a lot of balls down,” Stephens said. “The way that she plays is she has a very aggressive style, and sometimes you can't outhit her or outrun her. You just kind of have to accept that she's going to hit some really great shots”.

Stephens improves to 6-0 in WTA finals, and her latest success takes her into the top-ten for the first time in her career, as she will check in at No. 9 when the rankings are updated on Monday.


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Sloane Stephens wins Miami Open title: US Open champion takes out Jelena Ostapenko 7-6 6-1 to win maiden Premier Mandatory title

Sloane Stephens defeated Jelena Ostapenko 7-6 6-1 to win the Miami Open crown- her first Premier Mandatory title

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