seven matches in a row all to players ranked outside of the top ten.
The American began this year with two additional consecutive losses including an embarrassing first round Australian Open exit before taking five weeks off to focus on off court training and nutrition.
Then in her comeback to the tour in February, Stephens reached the Acapulco quarterfinals and beat the former world number one Victoria Azarenka of Belarus in Indian Wells.
To reach yesterday’s Miami, Florida final, Stephens had defeated grand slam champions Garbine Muguruza of Spain, Angelique Kerber of Germany and as wells as Azarenka once again in back to back matches.
Stephens yesterday continued to use her signature baseline mix of defense and offense to defeat Jelena Ostapenko of Latvia 7-6(7-5), 6-1 to win the women’s singles title at the Miami Open.
Running down many of Ostapenko’s powerful groundstrokes, Stephens took an early 5-3 lead before closing out the set in a tiebreaker.
In set two, Ostapenko netted or hit out several groundstrokes after perhaps feeling pressured to go for even bigger groundstrokes by Stephens defensive skills.
Down 1-5, Ostapenko struck four consecutive unforced errors including an inside out down the line forehand which landed wide.
And although her play has been inconsistent over the years, Stephens has never lost a WTA Tour final round match, going 6-0 including the Miami final.
Monday Stephens will enter the WTA Tour’s top ten for the first time in her career landing at number nine following her tough victories at Miami as well as Indian Wells.