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American Stephens beats Ostapenko for the Miami Open title



KEY BISCAYNE, Fla. – US Open Champion Sloane Stephens won her hometown tournament, beating Jelena Ostapenko 7-6 (5), 6-1 in the final on Saturday at the Miami Open

Stephens, a native South Florida native living in Fort Lauderdale, won the final women's final on Key Biscayne. The tournament will be relocated to the Miami Dolphins Stadium next year.

Seeded 13. Stephens won the defense and repeated the rallies until Ostapenko made a mistake. Ostapenko had a 25-6 lead over the winners, but forced Stephens 48 casual mistakes to 21

Stephens was the surprising winner at the US Open last September and then suffered a long break in Key Biscayne. She improved to 6-0 in the final and will break into the top 10 next week in the first week.

John Isner tries the biggest title of his career on Sunday when he plays Alexander Zverev in the men's final. Isner could give the USA the first round since 2004 at Key Biscayne when Andy Roddick and Serena Williams were able to win.

Stephens and six-point Ostapenko, last year's French Open champion, fought almost exclusively off the baseline and the quality of the game was often ragged. The finalists exchanged breaks for four games, and Stephens was broken twice before serving for the first set.

She surged back 6-2 in the central tiebreaker and made easy mistakes to lose consecutive set points. But Ostapenko threw a simple backhand into the net to lose the set, and the lettier seemed to tire afterwards.

Stephens swept the last six games, and at the championship point Ostapenko sent a forehand wide. Stephens celebrated by pumping both fists out of her hometown to cheer her.

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More AP coverage: https://apnews.com/tag/apf-Tennis

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Follow Steven Wine on Twitter: http://twitter.com/Steve_Wine. His work can be found at http://bigstory.ap.org/content/steven-wine

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