Rankings

Sloane Stephens beats Azarenka to reach Miami Open final, to play Jelena Ostapenko

US Open champion Sloane Stephens rallied back from a set down to thrash Victoria Azarenka and advance to the Miami Open final for the first time.

The American 13th seed beat the former world number one 3-6 6-2 6-1.

Azarenka, who’s ranked 108th, took the first two games of the second set but Stephens won 10 games in a row to turn the tie around, claiming her second win against the Belarussian in as many matches this month.

“I knew I had to stay in it. Victoria is a great champion,” said Stephens “I kept battling and I got a little momentum going in the second set.

“Growing up in South Florida, this is so incredible to be in the final.”

25-year-old Stephens will lock horns with French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko for a maiden title at the Key Biscayne.

Ostapenko edged American qualifier Danielle Collins 7-6, 6-3 in an hour and 39 minutes to book her spot in the final.

In the men’s draw, South Africa’s Kevin Anderson missed out on his maiden Masters 1000 semifinal once again.

Anderson looked to have completed a comeback on court, but Carreno Busta rallied in the tie-break to book his place in the semifinal.

The 16th seeded Spaniard won 6-4 5-7 7-6(6) in a thriller lasting two hours and 42 minutes and will next face Alexander Zverev, who overcame a slow start on Thursday to wear down Borna Coric 6-4 6-4.

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