Ostapenko to face Stephens in Miami Open final

Ostapenko to face Stephens in Miami Open final

She will face No. 6 seed Jelena Ostapenko in the semifinals.

American qualifier Danielle Collins shocked her Florida idol growing up, Venus Williams, defeating the No. 8 seed 6-2, 6-3 on Wednesday night in quarterfinal play.

"I knew I had to stay in it. Victoria is a great champion", said world number 12 Stephens, 25. "So that was just, you know, of course one of those days". "I ended up winning a lot of games in a row, and just tried to keep the momentum going".

Stephens steamrolled Azarenka after dropping the first set.

"I'm just starting to finally put all of the pieces together", said Collins, 24, who went to Northeast High and was the 2014 and 2016 NCAA champion at Virginia.

"I was hurting a little bit today, but it was on and off all the time", Svitolina said afterwards.

Collins was simply delighted with the win over a player she idolized. She's been my favorite player for forever. Azarenka got a wild-card entry to play Indian Wells, another wild card into Miami, and was ousted by Stephens in both of those. Azarenka has been involved in a custody dispute for several months and is headed back to Los Angeles, where she makes her home.

"You don't have to do it the traditional way, " Williams said.

Azarenka entered this event ranked No. 186. She came to Key Biscayne with $305,385 in career earnings, which she'll add at least $327,965 to now that she's in the semifinals.

"The wind wasn't too bad but I am trying to be more consistent".


Before Wednesday's win, her previous three matches went to three sets, and she dominated the third set in all three.

Carreno Busta's semifinal opponent will be No. 4 Alex Zverev, a 6-4, 6-4 victor over No. 29 Borna Coric.

The trip to the final comes with a few more significant perks for Stephens, who spent some of her youth learning the game at Key Biscayne. And she's going to soar in the world rankings, to no lower than 67th. If that wasn't enough, she'll also become part of history.

In keeping with the college theme, former University of IL player Kevin Anderson will play in the quarterfinals Thursday against Spaniard Pablo Carreno Busta.

The Open isn't ending, but it's moving about a half-hour's drive north to the Miami Dolphins' stadium next year.

"It's weird, what's going to happen to Crandon Park". Stephens said. "There's so many questions". "Not everyone is ready from a physical and maturity standpoint to deal with the rigors of tour life at a young age, and I think playing collegiate tennis is something more people should consider".

The match will be played at 18.00 Nigerian time on Saturday.

Ostapenko, meanwhile, showed the kind of aggression and heavy hitting which will be needed to keep Collins quiet when they meet in the last four on Thursday. Anderson beat American Frances Tiafoe 7-6 (7-3), 6-4 in the fourth round.

Karen Khachanov and Andrey Rublev, Russia, def. Steve Johnson and Sam Querrey, United States, 6-3, 6-1.

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