Svitolina fights off Bertens to reach Singapore final — WTA Finals

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Elina Svitolina of Ukraine won the biggest title of her career on Sunday (Oct 28), defeating Sloane Stephens 3-6, 6-2, 6-2 to win the BNP Paribas WTA Finals Singapore presented by SC Global. The Ukrainian won five games in a row to seal the second set and open the decider ahead by a break.

The hard-hitting Pliskova started red hot in what loomed as a one-sided contest before Stephens fought back with relentless hustle as the Czech went off the boil.

"I think physically in the end it was just about running and chasing every ball". Tried something a little different.

"It's been a insane year, " Osaka said.

"Before I really had like, 'Oh, those are great players, and I can never beat them.' Now I'm still thinking those are great players but I have beaten them before, so hopefully I can do it again today. But now I feel a bit more calm".

It was an unexpected result after Pliskova's early domination through power and precision to blitz through the first set in 31 minutes.

The American impressively counterattacked and pinpointed the lines to frustrate Kerber, who survived an injury scare when she landed awkwardly midway through the first set.

Osaka had started the match brightly, rolling through her service games before being broken in the eighth game.

She came back on court but dropped her serve to love, culminating in a double fault which turned out to be her last action at the WTA Finals.

Stephens rolled through against a slumping Pliskova to complete a monumental turnaround, as the former world number one fell in the semi-finals for the second straight year.

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"To be at the last four, last tournament of the year, it´s unbelievable".

Bertens played too risky a brand of tennis, posting 41 winners to 12 for Svitolina, but also making 63 to 36 unforced errors.

It ended a fairytale run for Bertens, who only qualified days before the tournament when world number one Simona Halep withdrew from injury.

"I think I'm capable of doing that".

"It was just getting worse and worse every time I played. So it's a big decision", she said.

"Well, I have nothing to prove any more to anyone", Svitolina said after recording the best win of her career.

Svitolina finally got on the scoreboard in the fourth game, able to placate the Stephens forehand with some brilliant defence, but the American continued to pound away at the corners to maintain her break advantage.

Bertens regrouped and was on the brink of levelling it up at 40-0 in the 10th game but cracked under the pressure.

The 26-year-old Bertens is reportedly the second Dutch player to have made it this far in the competition.