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Home / Sports / Miami Open Tennis – A winning trophy, a slice of pizza and a memorable day for Sloane Stephens

Miami Open Tennis – A winning trophy, a slice of pizza and a memorable day for Sloane Stephens



KEY BISCAYNE, Fla Sir Pizza is much like many other pizza joints. It's in a small mall, on the corner of Westwood Drive and Crandon Blvd., a short drive from Crandon Park. The place has a brick colored tile floor and hanging Faux Tiffany lamps. The cabins have fixed seats made of shiny plywood. There is even a Tupperware container with adhesive tape labeled "Tips".

Does not look special, but there are feelings. Amongst the things that Sloane Stephens will most miss when playing here at the Miami Open is Sir Pizza. After three decades in this popular spot on Key Biscayne, it will be moving to a new home on the mainland at Hard Rock Stadium in 201

9 and beyond.

"I've been going down since […] at age 12 [Sir Pizza]" Stephens, a native of Plantation, Florida, said earlier this week. "I grew up here when I was 12 or 13. We played the Orange Bowl here, the USTA used to be here, so we came here to practice, I'm kind of sad that it works." [19659005]

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But on Saturday afternoon there was no cause for sadness as Stephens thrilled the crowds at Crandon Park with an overwhelming crowd. Jelena Ostapenko 7-6 (5), 6: 1 [19659005] Stephens brought her career-end record to 6-0 by taking her first Premier Mandatory title. She overcame an early nerve affair and struck 25 winners at Ostapenko's Six and made only 21 unforced errors – less than half of Ostapenko's performance.

"I am definitely glad that I can be the last person to win here," Stephens later said.

The physical, forceful Ostapenko and the clever Stephens are both reigning Grand Slam champions. Only a year ago, both players entered the water with their placings in the 1960s.

That was not bad for 19-year-old Ostapenko. At about this time in 2017, she was just about to win Roland Garros. "The French Open gave me a lot of confidence," she said on Saturday. "The beginning of this year was not great for me, but I worked hard and played good matches here."

Stephens, however, came into the midst of an 11-month foot surgery discharge in April 2017 due to a career. Perhaps a "career-enhancing" foot surgery is a better way. Minor setbacks aside, Stephens stuck the two biggest titles of her career in the past seven months. Punish and frightening, as her surgery and rehab were at times, she clearly made Stephens a more resilient, mature competitor.

"When I found out I had to undergo surgery, it was like," My life is over, "she said." The only thing I had was tennis. "

But during her long recovery Stephens worked as a guest commentator on the Tennis Channel, finishing school and reaching other goals that prevented her career, she said that gave her a different perspective: "I could only feel good doing something besides tennis; it just made me feel so good. "

Stephens & # 39; new attitude made it easier for her to cope with the ebb and flow, and she succeeds after winning the US Open Championship, the gold treasure at the end of one 15-2 summer record rainbow, she went into a losing streak of six games, she was not much better to start in 2018, with a disappointing 3-4 record in Miami.What was going on?

Stephens ignored the Skeptics.

"I said to myself:" There are so many great opportunities, you will not be able to take the title every week, and that's fine, "she said Basically, people who jump back the best are the ones who are best able to secure those opportunities. "

The opportunity offered this week was not presented on a silver platter, more like one of those warped aluminum Stephens had four Grand Slam champions, d They were former number 1 players, conquered in consecutive games and finished in the final.

Against Ostapenko in the final showed Stephens Jitter, which led to a slow, anxious start. 19659005] "I was nervous," she said. "My feet stopped moving and I stopped swinging my arms, all I had to do was win the first set and start swinging away to play my game."

The point where Stephens won the first set provided a neat snapshot of their innate cunning. Ostapenko, who likes to push the ball, struck Stephens & # 39; s backhand for a first serve. Instead of returning, Stephens threw back a half-moon ball, which Ostapenko drove into the net in her eagerness. Clever.

"She was moving really well," Ostapenko said of Stephens. "She changed the tempo, she sometimes served Kick, sometimes it was about that, I think she's a great player."

This was a big win, an occasion for a big celebration.

"You're not going to Sir Pizza's tonight," joked one reporter after her press conference.

"Are you kidding?" Stephens said. "I'm leaving now."


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