Stephens sees off Ostapenko to win Miami title

French Open champion Ostapenko made a series of unforced errors

In a battle between the reigning champions of the U.S. Open and Roland Garros, the 13 seed, US Open champion and Florida native Sloane Stephens defeated No. 6 seed and French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko to win the Miami Open crown 7-6 (5), 6-1 on Saturday afternoon.

Ostapenko came into the encounter having not lost a set, an impressive statistic considering she has taken part in five tie-breaks over the last 12 days.

The American, who will enter the world's top 10 for the first time when the rankings are published next week, now has six WTA titles to her name.

"I think that's what I did best today".

While the history and memories from Key Biscayne will be hard to replicate, the future of the Miami Open is bright as a new chapter begins next year at the nearby Hard Rock Stadium. I have had some fantastic experiences here.

Seeded 13th, Stephens won with defence, repeatedly extending rallies until Ostapenko would make a mistake.

After twice failing to serve it out, Stephens eventually converted her fourth set point in the breaker to move ahead.

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

The American had won just three contests since winning her maiden Grand Slam crown, with many fearing the 25-year-old's success may only be a flash in the pan.

"Everything that is special or important to me I keep at my grandparents' house", she said, a big, toothy smile emerging from beneath her baseball cap.

'When I changed my perspective and I went and worked at Tennis Channel and I was finishing up school, like, I had so many things to look forward to and so many things that I knew in my life that I could accomplish.

While we are on the subject of on-court interactions - Kamau Murray and Stephens make a great team - Stephens' form after her win may have raised some eyebrows but snapping her losing steak has shown she is back to her previous motivation.

Stephens said she benefited from a pep talk by her coach after the opening set. Stephens then broke again and consolidated to hold a 5-3 lead, though could not serve it out a game later as Ostapenko levelled up at 5-5. But she had momentum on her side, and even had a set point against Ostapenko in the first set. "I really just focused on myself and made sure that I was the best version of me", she sad. "It was fantastic they came out and supported me".

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