Resurgent Stephens thrashes Kerber

Angelique Kerber struggled in the Miami wind, but Sloane Stephens had no such troubled as she eased to victory in just over an hour.

Sloane Stephens celebrates her win over Angelique Kerber   -  Getty Images

Sloane Stephens continued her resurgence by reaching the semi-finals of the Miami Open with a straight-sets drubbing of Angelique Kerber.

Stephens endured an alarming fall from grace after her sensational US Open triumph last September, going five months without a win before stopping the rot at the Mexican Open.

The American beat Garbine Muguruza in the fourth round in Miami and will be in the top 10 in the rankings for the first time next week after easing to a 6-1 6-2 victory over Kerber.

Stephens lost eight matches in a row following her Flushing Meadows success, but clearly relishes playing on home soil and Kerber was unable to live with the 13th seed in the Florida wind.

Kerber has now lost her last four encounters with Stephens, who broke twice in a first set which she needed just the 23 minutes to wrap up.

Two-time grand slam champion Kerber racked up 25 unforced errors and grew increasingly infuriated as Stephens combined a positive approach with solid defence, another two breaks enabling the 25-year-old to seal victory in only 61 minutes.

Former world number one Victoria Azarenka joined Stephens in the final four after defeating Karolina Pliskova in straight sets.

Azarenka – a two-time Australian Open champion – was too good for fifth seed Pliskova as she triumphed 7-5 6-3.

It marked 11 consecutive wins for 2016 Miami Open winner Azarenka at Crandon Park, where she has only dropped one set this year.

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