The Sunshine Double is over as the WTA slowly begins their transition into the clay season. The final in the Miami Open saw two players who have struggled to start the season but have picked up form in Key Biscayne.
Last Week's Champions
Sloane Stephens captured her second biggest title in months after winning the Miami Open title over Jelena Ostapenko. Stephens dropped a set in her second match against Monica Niculescu but turned it around as the Romanian qualifier retired down 0-4 in the final set.
The American was clinical in her victories over Garbiñe Muguruza and Angelique Kerber before taking on Victoria Azarenka. The Belarussian was excellent this week and was a set away from claiming the victory before Stephens roared back.
With the 2018 Miami Open title, Sloane Stephens rose from 12th to ninth, breaking Top 10 for the first time in her career. The American has accumulated 3,938 points in the last 12 months, the lion's share of that sum being thanks to her titles from Miami and the U.S. Open. Stephens will also have to defend only 11 points between now and August, which gives her an incredible opportunity to launch a challenge toward the top five.
Another American, Danielle Collins, had the best tournament of her life in Miami. The two-time NCAA champion upset CoCo Vandeweghe and Venus Williams en route to a semifinal. This result made Collins rise from 93 to 53, which will ensure most WTA main draws for her. Collins started the year at 163. She has never played a WTA-level tournament on clay or grass, so it will be interesting to see how she deals with the different surfaces.
Former world number one Victoria Azarenka played her first tournaments at the Sunshine Double since Wimbledon and found a lot of success in Miami. The Belorussian rose 94 spots up to 92, entering the top 100 for the first time since exactly a year ago. Azarenka's upcoming schedule is still uncertain as the legal battle for her son, Leo, is still ongoing.
The British number one Johanna Konta dropped down eight spots down to 22. Konta failed to defend her Miami title as she went out in the round of 16 to Venus Williams. For Williams, it was a win of revenge as Konta defeated her in the semifinals of the Miami Open last year. Coming back to top 10 will be difficult for Konta as we approach the clay season in the WTA calendar, her worst surface. After that, the Briton has the defend semifinals at Wimbledon.
Samantha Stosur's gradual decline continued in Miami. The Australian was defeated in straight sets by Monica Puig in the Round of 128, unable to defend her round of 16 run from last year. Stosur dropped from 45 to 57, and as she has gone 3-8 in 2018, the prognostics are not looking good for the 34-year-old.