After a tense first set, the US Open champion reeled off six consecutive games in the second to beat the French Open victor and claim her first Miami title after a slow start to the season.
'It's super awesome because growing up in South Florida, a lot of friends and family are here so it's really awesome for me.
She added: "I remember when I found out I needed surgery previous year after the Australian Open I was so down but ultimately it gave me a different perspective". It seems that she's at her best when she has no expectations of success and is just trying to find her way back to her normal level of play.
"This place is pretty special to me", said the 25-year-old, who grew up just north of the venue in Plantation, Florida.
The American, who will enter the world's top 10 for the first time when the rankings are published next week, now has six WTA titles to her name. "I knew I was going to really have to work for it and she wasn't going to give it to me", Collins said of the 37-year-old seven-times grand slam champion. So I'm super excited that on Monday I will be inside the top 10.
Most of all, you have to be able to shake off the large numbers of winners that she will hit, win or lose, hot or not.
"I knew that I was just going to have to run a lot of balls down", said the victor.
The match provided a fascinating contrast of styles, with Stephens content to remain largely passive, perhaps due to the amount of mistakes her more aggressive opponent was making.
"A final feels different, there was more pressure and I was missing shots I was hitting earlier in the week", she said. I wasn't swinging good at the ball.
Ostapenko had a 25-6 advantage in winners but committed 48 unforced errors to 21 by Stephens. She will move up to No. 9 in the world. "When she was hitting great shots, I just accepted that some good shots were going to be hit and just didn't harp on it too much".
There were boos ringing around Crandon Park when tournament director James Blake told the crowd that he would see them next year at the Hard Rock Stadium. I think it will be great for the tournament - a new facility.
"Comparing to the other matches I watched her play this week, she was moving really well".
But Stephens will immediately head to Charleston, where she won the tournament (and the Volvo) the last time she played it in 2016. I have had some awesome experiences here. "Hopefully I can make some dents there, as well, during the clay court season".