Stephens downs Ostapenko to win Miami Open

Stephens downs Ostapenko to win Miami Open

MIAMI – Agence France-Presse
Stephens downs Ostapenko to win Miami Open

Sloane Stephens held her nerve in an error-strewn WTA Miami Open final to beat Jelena Ostapenko 7-6 (7/5) 6-1 and lift the prestigious title for the first time on March 31.

Florida native 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.

However a nervy final was not easy on the eye with both players appearing to be struggling to get to grips with the occasion.

There were eight breaks of serve in the first set alone -- that total eventually ended up at 12 -- with French Open champion Ostapenko hitting 48 unforced errors compared to US Open champion Stephens making 21 during the entire one hour and 32 minutes.

The triumph for the American, however, capped an impressive campaign which saw victories over grand slam winners Garbine Muguruza, Angelique Kerber, Victoria Azarenka before Ostapenko was also dispatched.

“I knew I would have to run a lot of balls down, you have to accept she will hit great shots so I didn’t worry about that too much,” said a delighted Stephens, who will be named in the WTA top 10 for the first time when the new rankings are released on April 2.

“There were pre-match jitters but once I won the first set, I was able to settle,” she added. “I have wanted to be in the top 10 for so long. It’s very exciting.”

tennis, sports,