Ostapenko to face Stephens in Miami Open final

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Sloane Stephens returns the ball to Victoria Azarenka, of Belarus, during their semifinal match in the Miami Open tennis tournament.

Last year's US Open winner Sloane Stephens has made her maiden Miami final over three sets on Thursday, defeating Victoria Azarenka of Belarus again in the semifinals and will meet last year's French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko from Latvia in Saturday's final.

Three weeks ago, Stephens halted Azarenka's comeback from maternity leave with straight sets win in the second round of Indian Wells. And the No.13 seed did it again in Miami but followed a different route by overcoming the wildcard at 3-6, 6-2, 6-1.

"After losing the first set, I was just like, Okay, I didn't really do anything wrong. I wasn't playing terribly," Stephens recalled. "I had a lot of errors, but I didn't feel like I was just not in the match. So I knew if I kind of stayed with it I would be able to get my opportunities, and I did."

"I knew I was going to have to fight regardless of what happened in last tournament," she added. "It's someone I have lost three times before Indian Wells. So I had to fight, and I had to play some of my best tennis today."

The 20-year-old Ostapenko put a decisive end to American qualifier Danielle Collins' dream run as she defeated Collins 7-6(1), 6-3 in the semifinals. Ostapenko also becomes the youngest player to reach the Miami final since 2009, when 19-year-old Victoria Azarenka claimed the title.

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