Venus Williams knocked out of Miami Open

Ostapenko got her spot in the semi-finals by ousting fourth-seeded Elina Svitolina 7-6 (7/3), 7-6 (7/5) and is now to get the upstart Collins with a berth in tomorrow's final at stake. It's just I was fresher in the first set and getting to the ball at the right time. It's always unbelievable for my friends and family when I play here.

All that good work was swiftly undone, however, as an errant forehand relinquished the initiative once more and Azarenka took full advantage, breaking to love in game nine as Stephens netted.

Collins, bidding to reach Sloane Stephens and give the Miami fans the first All-American final since 2003 when Venus Williams defeated birthday girl Jennifer Capriati, dramatically highlighted her inexperience. "I ended up winning a lot of games in a row, and just tried to keep the momentum going".

Three weeks ago, Stephens halted Azarenka's comeback from maternity leave with straight sets win in the second round of Indian Wells.

Stephens will face both French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko, the sixth seed, or Western qualifier Danielle Collins at Saturday's final in Crandon Park.

One of the highlights of Stephens' career - no, it does not match her U.S. Open championship or even making it to the final in Miami this year - came in the Miami Open.

"Everything that is special or important to me I keep at my grandparents' house", she said, a big, toothy smile emerging from beneath her baseball cap. As she showed against Venus Williams, Collins rarely looked affected by the score or the circumstances.

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"I come to play in the tournament without any expectations", she added. "More consistent and more confident and just going for shots sometimes and not afraid to miss it".

Stephens offered, "I think it will be cool, obviously, to play in front of family and friends here again for the last time".

Thursday's semifinals EST will feature Victoria Azarenka vs. Sloane Stephens at 1 p.m., and Ostapenko vs. Collins at 9 p.m.

"I have to go back, and then I will see what happens".

Latvian Ostapenko needed successive tie-breaks to see off the world number four, eventually prevailing 7-6, 7-6 following two lengthy sets which lasted nearly an hour each.

The leader among the semifinalists for aces, first-serve points, and service games won before the match, Collins failed to rely on her supposed strength, simply because Ostapenko used her serve more consistently to take the initiative. I don't know, what normal people do.

  • Tabitha Byrd