Azarenka out of Miami Open 2018
- Author: Rosalie Stanley Mar 31, 2018,
Mar 31, 2018, 8:40
Jelena Ostapenko booked her spot in the Miami Open final with a hard-fought straight-sets win over Danielle Collins on Thursday. Thus, Stephens advanced to her first final in a WTA Premier Mandatory event. In Indian Wells defeated a rusty Victoria Azarenka 6-1 7-5 before falling to eventual runner-up Daria Kasatkina in the round of 32.
Stephens endured a bad slump since triumphing at Flushing Meadows last September, losing her last six games of 2017 and started the New Year with deflating early exits in Sydney and the Australian Open.
Living with a target on her back as a dominant collegiate player helped Collins develop the aplomb she shows on the court. Her hitting, especially from the back of the court, was of the highest order and when she broke again, this time thanks to a brilliant lob, the first set was sealed.
"At the end of last season, I had to play, I wanted to play", Stephens said, reviewing her struggles of late 2017. The Roland Garros champion went to on to hold and asked for her coach, David Taylor, on-court when she was 5-4 up. She then won 15 of the final 21 games. "Mentally I was a little bit on and off, as well, and didn't really focus on the right moments and the right things, and, you know, the small things, because she's such a great player". Will be updated with results from Ostapenko-Collins match. The difference in terms of age and experience, however, became suddenly too heavy a toll for the American, graduate in Media Studies at the Virginia University. She just went out there and won, crafting a sensational 6-2, 6-3 upset largely because she played bold, fearless tennis.
Collins won an impressive 66 percent of her service points as she was only broken once by Williams. "Of course I was missing some because I was trying to play aggressive the whole match, but I think my winners are more than the unforced errors". One of those matches, an 8-6 third-set defeat to Aliaksandra Sasnovich, left her in tears.
The win saw world number five Ostapenko set up a meeting with US Open champion Sloane Stephens in the decider. Based on how Ostapenko looked in her last match, I'm guessing no.
And she teamed up with Canadian Gabriela Dabrowski to win the doubles title in Qatar last month. It's not a coincidence, one could say.
Yesterday, Victoria Azarenko failed to reach the final at Miami Open. However, Williams only won one more game in the match as the 24-year-old Collins ran out the victor.