Stephens rallies for spot in Miami Open final

Erica Murray
March 31, 2018

"I had a lot of errors, but I didn't feel like I was just not in the match".

Three-time champion Azarenka, playing as a wild-card in her second event after an eight-month absence because of a custody dispute involving her son, showed glimpses of the form that took her to the top of the rankings but ultimately ran out of gas against her 13th-seeded opponent.

The U.S. Open trophy that Stephens was awarded last September, for example, now holds a coveted place in the middle of the dining table in her grandparents' home in Fresno, Calif.

Three-time Miami Open victor Azarenka, 28, comfortably won the first set but hit four double faults in the second as the American started to dominate.

"She played a great match".

Williams was desperately trying to claw her way back in but it was to be Collins' moment.

"I mean, she played very well and aggressively, and she went for every shot and it landed", explained Williams.

"I'm like, what's going to happen to Crandon Park?"

The final will be the sixth of Ostapenko's WTA Tour career as she aims for a third title. The American was crushing the returns and brought up five break opportunities in Ostapenko's first two service games alone, pushing her to deuce seven times.

"I obviously have an incredible amount of respect for Venus, but you kind of have to take the name out of it and just focus on the tennis part and play one point at a time and use your tactics that you come up with your coaches". Many talked of a lingering slump as she lost two first-round matches in Australia and vanished, but she was unfazed: "The two losses were no big deal".

"At the end of last season, I had to play, I wanted to play", Stephens said, reviewing her struggles of late 2017. Azarenka got a wild-card entry to play Indian Wells, another wild card into Miami, and was ousted by Stephens in both of those. I got back to my regular schedule: get up, have breakfast, read the news. "So I knew if I did that in the second I'd be right in there. It messes up your vibe". You know, she's gonna jump on it. [It's when] you're having to really fight and struggle.

Williams is one of the most decorated players in women's tennis history.

Her free-flowing, flat forehands, gradually and evidently discouraged Collins, the first qualifier ever to reach the semifinals at Miami Open, bidding to win her 100th career match at all levels today.

On Saturday, expect Stephens to bring her full assortment of tricks to the final.

Other reports by Insurance News

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