Saturday, March 31, 2018

Stephens, Bryan brothers win Miami Open titles

   It doesn't take long for Sloane Stephens to find her form.
   In only her fifth tournament after undergoing foot surgery last year, the unseeded Stephens won the U.S. Open for her first Grand Slam championship.
   A letdown was inevitable, but Stephens took it to extremes, losing her next eight matches. In her third tournament since then, she captured the Miami Open today.
   Stephens, a 25-year-old Fresno product seeded 13th, beat Jelena Ostapenko, a 20-year-old Latvian seeded sixth, 7-6 (5), 6-1 for the second-biggest title of her career.
   Like Stephens, Ostapenko won her first Grand Slam title last year as an unseeded player, taking the French Open crown.
   Stephens improved to 6-0 in finals and will crack the top 10 for the first time on Monday, rising three spots to No. 9.
   Stephens, who lives in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., converted 7 of 8 break-point opportunities and Ostapenko 5 of 8. The hard-hitting Ostapenko ripped 25 winners to Stephens' six but committed 48 unforced errors to Stephens' 21.
   In the men's doubles final, fourth-seeded Bob and Mike Bryan topped unseeded Karen Khachanov and Andrey Rublev of Russia 4-6, 7-6 (5) [10-4].
   The Bryans, ex-Stanford All-Americans who will turn 40 on April 29, won their fifth Miami championship, 37th Masters 1000 crown and 115th title as a team. However, it was their first title since Atlanta last July and first Masters 1000 crown since Rome in May 2016.
   The Bryans have won a record 16 Grand Slam men's doubles titles but none since the 2014 U.S. Open.
   Khachanov, 21, and Rublev, 20, were playing in their first final together.

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