Stephens wins title

American Sloane Stephens kept intact her streak of never having lost a final as she defeated Latvia’s Jelena Ostapenko 7-6(5) 6-1 to claim the Miami Open title on Sunday.

After a tense first set, the US Open champion reeled off six consecutive games in the second to beat the French Open winner and claim her first Miami title after a slow start to the season.

“I wasn’t expecting a title here or anywhere, really. I just wanted to make sure I got my game back where I wanted it to be,” Florida native Stephens said in a courtside interview after extending her record in finals to 6-0. “I knew if I just got back to the drawing board I would be OK.”

The crowd favourite had just six winners, compared with 25 for Ostapenko, but 48 unforced errors by the Latvian and Stephens’ relentless defence were the difference. Adding to her triumphant weekend, Stephens, who was seeded only 13th in Miami, will make her world top-10 debut on Monday, after rising to number nine.

Ostapenko is currently ranked fifth. Their error-strewn first set began with four consecutive service breaks and went to 6-6 before Stephens pushed ahead 6-2 in the tiebreak.

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