Stephens Beats Ostapenko To Win Miami Open Final

Stephens Beats Ostapenko To Win Miami Open Final

Stephens Beats Ostapenko To Win Miami Open Final

The American claimed her first title since the US Open past year with a 7-6 (7-5), 6-1 win over her Latvian opponent.

After a tense first set, the U.S. Open champion reeled off six consecutive games in the second to beat the French Open victor and claim her first Miami title after a slow start to the season.

The triumph will be even sweeter for Stephens today when she makes her long-awaited debut in the top 10 of the world rankings 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. "I have had some wonderful experiences here, and I'll definitely miss it, but I think - yeah, I just feel fortunate that I was able to do that here in South Florida with all my friends and family watching". So I'm super excited that on Monday I will be inside the top 10.

After a tense first set - which began with four consecutive service breaks and went to 6-6 before Stephens won the tie-break 7-5 - the US Open champion reeled off six consecutive games in the second to beat the French Open victor and lift her first Miami title after a slow start to the season. The finalists traded breaks for four games, and Stephens was broken twice more when serving for the first set.

Ostapenko hadn't lost a set during the tournament before falling to Stephens 7-6 (5), 6-1.

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Why, Stephens was asked, is her most treasured prize not in her own home? Stephens had won 67 games, and spent around eight and a half hours on court; Ostapenko had won 65 games and spent an hour and a quarter on court. '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.

Stephens will next be in action in just a few days at the Volvo Car Open in Charleston, where she is the fourth seed and where she won the title in 2016.

"I just wanted to make sure my game was where I wanted it to be", Stephens said of her mindset coming to Miami.

She wobbled again leading 6-2 in the pivotal tiebreaker, hitting unforced errors to lose consecutive set points.

Ostapenko said she followed coach David Taylor's advice to stay on the attack against the defensive-minded Svitolina even when she was having trouble with her accuracy. "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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