Stephens' opponent in Saturday's final will be either sixth-seeded Jelena Ostapenko or American qualifier Danielle Collins. One of those matches, an 8-6 third-set defeat to Aliaksandra Sasnovich, left her in tears.
"I played extremely well", said Isner, who dropped six of his first eight matches of the year before arriving in Miami.
"I honestly didn't feel good at all the whole match", said Azarenka.
"I wanted to expose her movement".
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"I came out there telling myself I was going to focus on my side of the court", Stephens said. "It was insane, but people just don't know what's going on".
"I think all young American girls idolize and look up to Venus and Serena".
She had lost only four of her past 26 semi-finals but Azarenka seemed resigned to her fate, a wayward forehand sealing victory for Stephens, who let out a roar of delight at reaching her first final since her US Open triumph last September.
It was an fantastic effort from a 24 year-old qualifier in just her second season as a professional and her debut appearance at Key Biscayne.
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While Stephens looks forward to attempting to win her first WTA Premier Mandatory event, Azarenka admitted she is returning to Los Angeles to continue with legal discussions over the custody of her son, Leo, who was born in December 2016. Ostapenko won a tournament, in Seoul, South Korea, last fall.
"She's a fighter. She won the French Open".
But both are defending majors, and major ranking points, this summer, so they realize the importance of adding the Miami Open to their résumés. "To make the progress from one week to another week, barely practicing and barely even eating, not too bad".
Stephens was raised in Plantation, around an hour north of Key Biscayne and is expecting her friends and family to turn up in "full force".
Stephens didn't record her first win post-US Open until she defeated Pauline Parmentier in Acapulco in late February. I've been playing tennis in Key Biscayne since I was 11 years old.
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