US Open champ Stephens beats Ostapenko for Miami Open title

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"I knew that I was just going to have to..." Next year the tournament will be moving to North Miami to Hard Rock Stadium, home of the Miami Dolphins.

Both had overcome tough draws, including Major champions, with their own exciting brands of attacking, full-blooded tennis.

Stephens had beaten three former Grand Slam champions- Garbine Muguruza, Angelique Kerber and Victoria Azarenka- to make the final against another Grand Slam victor. Stephens would debut in the top 10-at No9-no matter the result in Miami. Ostapenko, despite having watched Stephens make dozens of other full-stretch gets over the course of the match, was taken by surprise. It worked for the next two points, both winners.

At the moment, Ostapenko is ranked fifth in the WTA rankings, while Stephens is ranked 12th. The finalists traded breaks for four games, and Stephens was broken twice more when serving for the first set.

Still this seesawing match strewn with errors was not done.

Sloane Stephens defeated Jelena Ostapenko in straight sets to win the Miami Open last night.

Sloane Stephens won her hometown tournament, a title that nicely complements her U.S. Open championship, by beating Jelena Ostapenko 7-6 (5), 6-1 in the final at the Miami Open.

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Stephens kept surviving deep baseline challenges from her opponent, and Ostapenko kept wilting with unforced errors. "I just accepted that some good shots were going to be hit and just didn't harp on it too much".

The younger woman, though, was not about to back off.

A closely-fought first set gave way to nearly a procession in the second, with Stephens claiming victory after Ostapenko's forehand drifted out wide.

The set featured numerous service breaks, with Ostapenko the first to actually hold serve to go up 3-2. Another break, and Stephens served for the set. It will mark the first time that Stephens has cracked the top 10 in her career.

Ostapenko, after a superb tournament, will surely be disappointed by 48 errors to 21 winners-the statistics had been nearer the reverse in earlier matches-but she can turn on the smile with aplomb, and had warm words for all concerned. "Now I can prepare for the clay but I have some time before going back to the French Open and to think about what it will be like to defend my title".

Next year, it will be a new and very different stage for this tournament.

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