WTA Miami: Sloane Stephens captures first Premier Mandatory title

WTA Miami: Sloane Stephens captures first Premier Mandatory title

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 Saturday.

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.

After a tense first set, the US 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. It will mark the first time that Stephens has cracked the top 10 in her career. I wasn't swinging good at the ball. "I've had some fantastic experiences here, and I'll definitely miss it".

There's a fair gap between No. 10 and the top players; for example, she's more than 1,000 points behind No. 8 Venus Williams.

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.

Serving at 5-1, 30-0 in the second set, two points from the title, Stephens ran down a pair of hard-hit ground strokes from her opponent.

Stephens hit 6 winners to 21 unforced errors, while Ostapenko had 25 winners to 48 errors.

"I knew that I was just going to have to run a lot of balls down", Stephens added.

Recreation District to Hold Easter Egg Hunt Saturday
The event was also sponsored by local businesses such as Garlyn Shelton Family of Dealerships, JGS Motors, and Big Mouth Motors. Parents with young kids know what Easter's really about - all the hidden plastic eggs filled with candy.

Ostapenko has now won both of her meetings against Svitolina, included a victory over the 23-year-old at Wimbledon last year. It seems that she's at her best when she has no expectations of success and is just trying to find her way back to her normal level of play.

KEY BISCAYNE, Fla. (AP) - Half an hour after Sloane Stephens won her hometown tournament, she lingered on the confetti-covered court, posing for photos and signing autographs as if reluctant to leave Key Biscayne.

"I was a little nervous and it was showing in my game", Stephens said of the first set.

Stephens said she benefited from a pep talk by her coach after the opening set.

To pick apart the weaknesses in French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko's game, you need a few specific skills.

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

"Even when I am down or people are doubting me, there are so many great opportunities out there I didn't worry".

It's something I really look forward to. "It was incredible they came out and supported me".

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