Stephens will face last year's French Open champion, sixth-seeded Jelena Ostapenko of Latvia, in the final on Saturday, the last time the tournament will be contested on Key Biscayne, near Stephens's Fort Lauderdale home, before it moves north next year to Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens.
Collins swiftly defeated No.8 seed and three-time champion Williams 6-2, 6-3 in just 87 minutes and she said it's unbelievable to beat her idol.
The Miami Open women's final will pit two reigning grand slam champions after Sloane Stephens and Jelena Ostapenko won their respective semi-finals in Florida on Thursday. Ostapenko swept past qualifier Danielle Collins 7-6, 6-3 and has maintained the straight sets winning run at Miami.
It's just I was fresher in the first set and getting to the ball at the right time. "She's been my favourite player for forever and this is just a special moment I'm trying to wrap my head around it". Azarenka led 6-3 2-0 before Stephens rallied back to beat the Belarusian 3-6 6-2 6-1.
"I just put it there and I have it on my shirt, and I'm clearly the best No. 1 fan of my son, so it's just something, you know, to remind you-not really remind me but to keep close to my heart when I play", Azarenka said in Miami.
"I wound up dropping a great deal of matches in a row and I only attempted to keep the momentum moving". It was the first win for Carreno Busta in five matches against Anderson.
Her opponent Collins came into the matchup having already played nearly 12 hours of tennis in Miami alone, battling through two rounds of qualifying to bring her total of matches to seven.
Stephens endured a torrid five-month losing streak following her shock triumph at Flushing Meadows previous year, but since she snapped the run in Acapulco last month she has rediscovered her best tennis. She's been my favorite player for forever. I've been playing tennis in Key Biscayne since I was 11 years old.
For as easy as Collins made it look on Wednesday night, John Isner had an even easier time in his men's singles quarter-final.
"I am staying very calm, I have been working on my mentality and it is helping me a lot".
Zverev advances to a semifinal against Spanish 16th seed Carreno Busta, who survived a match point to upset South African sixth seed Anderson 6-4, 5-7, 7-6 (6).
"I was hurting a little bit today, but it was on and off all the time", Svitolina said afterwards.