"This is so cool!"
The Belarusian might have performed little aggressive tennis in late years however had a respectable streak in Miami, including success over Czech world number six Karolina Pliskova at the quarter finals.
Stephens finally jumped into the top 10 this week, for the first time in her career. Stephens has rediscovered that balance of aggression and defense-lots of running with just enough shotmaking sprinkled in-that, at its best, can leave virtually any of her opponents in the dust.
It was a sign of what was to come for three-times champion Azarenka, playing as a wildcard in her second event after an eight-month absence because of a custody dispute involving her son.
The American will next meet the victor of the second semi-final between French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko or countrywoman Danielle Collins, who ended the hopes of Venus Williams in the last eight.More news: White House hails renegotiated trade deal with Seoul
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Ostapenko, 20, became the youngest finalist in Miami since Azarenka won the title in 2009 when she was aged 19.
"Growing up, watching so many of their matches, I could really relate to them, to their upbringing", Collins said. "She played very well and aggressively, and she went for every shot and it landed". Collins was undaunted, and kept apace with Ostapenko's heavy hitting - the gambit worked and she broke straight back to level the score.
"I knew I was going to have to fight regardless of what happened last week", the former U.S. open champion stated, later on during her interview.
Two defending grand-slam champions will contest the final of the Miami Open today, yet you would be forgiven if it had slipped your mind that Sloane Stephens and Jelena Ostapenko hold that status. Instead the big-hitting Latvian bracketed the set with another break of serve to finish, closing out the match after an hour and 41 minute battle.
"I'm like, what's going to happen to Crandon Park?" The 14th-seeded Isner finished with 13 aces, won all but one of his 32 first-serve points and avenged a loss to the 19th-seeded Chung at Auckland in his first match of the year back in January. She managed her lead and put an end to a three-match losing streak against players from the United States after losing to Venus Williams (2017 Wimbledon and 2017 WTA Finals) and Lepchenko (2017 Toronto). And then going into this season, I knew that I didn't have the greatest offseason, so for me, the two matches that I lost the first part of the year in Australia, not a big deal.