Stephens, who turned 25 last week, is back in a final for the first time since Flushing Meadows and, win or lose, she will reach the top 10 in the WTA rankings for the first time on Monday.
US Open champion Sloane Stephens turned on the style to qualify for the final of the Miami Open with an absolutely astonishing point typifying her performance.
In a men's quarterfinal, 16th-seeded Pablo Carreno Busta wasted two match points on his serve in the second set before recovering - almost two hours later - and ousting No. 6 Kevin Anderson 6-4, 5-7, 7-6 (6) in a rematch of a U.S. Open semifinal from a year ago.
"The first time I saw Venus in the locker room, I almost cried".
"This is just such a special moment, I'm just trying to wrap my head around it".
The US Open champion again ended former world No.1 Victoria Azarenka's hopes of a fairytale comeback by beating her 3-6 6-2 6-1 to reach the Miami decider. After the match, the American said said, "Missing here a year ago, I really just wanted to get back on these courts".
Of Saturday's championship match, she doesn't think that's weird at all - just great.
Ecuador cuts WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange's Internet access
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A reigning Grand Slam champion smacked down American Danielle Collins's sky-high dreams Thursday night.
"That just turned into people saying how I'm such a flop and I'm never going to be the same", added Stephens, who was ranked No. 83 when she won the Open, becoming only the fifth unseeded champion in tournament history.
Four double faults in the second brought Stephens back into contention as Azarenka lost three consecutive service games.
The 2017 French Open champion was on the attack for nearly the entire match with Svitolina content to play a counter-punching style.
Specifically, her shoes and shirt were proudly displayed with Leo's name. "Now, I'm playing more consistent".
Fourteenth seeded John Isner dominated with his serve in dismissing 19 seeded Hyeon Chung 6-1, 6-4 to make the elite eight in Miami.
"I was hurting a little bit today, but it was on and off all the time", Svitolina said afterwards.
"Really what it comes down for me is keep doing what I'm doing and just keep that feeling that I'm having on the court", he said.