Sloane Stephens captures first Premier Mandatory title — WTA Miami

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Sloane Stephens takes the title at the 2018 Miami Open.

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

"A final feels different, there was more pressure and I was missing shots I was hitting earlier in the week", she said. However, after picking up two wins in Indian Wells, the 13th seed beat the likes of Garbine Muguruza and Angelique Kerber to reach the final in Miami, and was mostly in control of the final today.

Where some great players use their athleticism to try to do more with the ball than their opponents, Stephens uses her to do less-or just enough.

It is the second-biggest title of Stephens's career after the momentum win in NY.

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

The first set was incredibly messy, with neither Stephens or Ostapenko, who had beaten the likes of Petra Kvitova on her way to only her second final since her Roland Garros victory, playing at their best.

Ostapenko hit 25 winners. After a hard-fought first set, Stephens found her groove in the second.

This was Sloane showing us what makes her such a subtly effective athlete. On this day, she was not. Stephens simply had the tools to disarm her. Prior to the U.S. hard court spring swing, she had yet to pick up a win since claiming her maiden Slam title in NY. She also withstood a hearty challenge from American qualifier Danielle Collins in the semifinals.

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

"Half the people I didn't even know", she said.

I wasn't expecting a title here. She was changing the pace.

The Latvian's serve continued to let her down, draining any confidence she may have left, and the forehand collapsed.

"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. After Stephens' strong forehand victor to go up 6-2, Ostapenko nearly pulled even before faltering in the 57-minute first set. The answer in the first set was yes-barely. Then some moments I think I was - I stepped a little bit back. But she hould find this title gives her wings going into the meaty part of the schedule. "I'm sure it will be handsome".

"Yeah, I'm just really looking forward to it".

Stephens will need wings, given her predilection for home soil. Ostapenko, despite having watched Stephens make dozens of other full-stretch gets over the course of the match, was taken by surprise. And all four of those players were either former French Open champions or finalists. "When the USTA was here, we played Orange Bowl and all sorts of tournaments here", Stephens told press post her title triumph.

As the No. 4 seed, Stephens will have a first-round bye, and a few days to regroup. When she smacked a service victor to hold for 4-1 in the second set, the match was essentially over.

Now, of course, the US Open champion will arrive in Mercedes, as the brand's new ambassador.

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