WTA Miami: Sloane Stephens rallies to beat Victoria Azarenka, reaches Miami final

Collins Venus Miami Open

American tennis star Venus Williams suffered a major blow as she crashed out of Miami Masters after slumping to a shocking straight-sets defeat at the hands of qualifier Danielle Collins in the quarter-finals here on Thursday. Victoria Azarenka, a first-time mother to one-year-old Leo, showed her love for her son by sporting his name on her gear during the Miami Open. Collins and Ostapenko didn't start until 10 p.m. I didn't come from a wealthy family so didn't start playing at the country club as a kid.

Zverev advances to a semifinal against Spanish 16th seed Carreno Busta, who survived a match point to upset South African sixth seed Anderson 6-4, 5-7, 7-6 (6). She went through coaches like a magician goes through silk scarves.

Two defending grand-slam champions will contest the final of the Miami Open today, yet you would be forgiven if it had slipped your mind that Sloane Stephens and Jelena Ostapenko hold that status.

Jelena Ostapenko overpowered Ukrainian fourth seed Elina Svitolina in two tiebreaks to win 7-6 (3), 7-6 (5) and advance to the semi-finals of the Miami Open for the first time on Wednesday.

But Ostapenko's only other career singles title was at a lower-level WTA tournament in Seoul, Korea last fall.

"I don't think it was my best night of tennis, but, I mean, there wasn't a shot she couldn't make", Williams said.




She will now meet US Open champion Stephens, who beat three-times title-winner Victoria Azarenka 3-6, 6-2, 6-1 earlier in the day.

After racing into a 4-1 lead in the first set, Collins held her composure to win the set 6-2 and gave herself a great platform to build towards a win. It's just I was fresher in the first set and getting to the ball at the right time. She then won 15 of the final 21 games.

"I knew I was going to have to fight regardless of what happened last week", the former United States open champion stated, later on during her interview.

Ostapenko, playing her second Premier Mandatory semifinal as a favorite, saved a set point outplacing her opponent, forced to net a backhand. Azarenka got a wild-card entry to play Indian Wells, another wild card into Miami, and was ousted by Stephens in both of those. "As a team, we never took a minute, or a step back, to assess what happened - and where we go from there". "So that was just, you know, of course one of those days".

"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.

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