Elina Svitolina beats Sloane Stephens for biggest win of career — WTA Finals

31 October, 2018, 12:45 | Author: George Williams
  • Naomi Osaka

"It means a lot to me", Svitolina said on court after the match. I just tried to stay in it, and get as many balls back as I could.

"I hurt my left hamstring in the first match [against Stephens]", Osaka told reporters.

From there Stephens found her footing and seventh-seeded Pliskova began to derail.

Stephens said she was satisfied with her debut WTA Finals. "It's going to bring me lots of confidence". Bertens lost just once, to Sloane Stephens, but even then, made the American work very hard for the win. I can win one game, maybe I can win two, then three.' And I just started to feel the ball a little better. And then if you lose, you have no regrets'.

Svitolina entered the final trailing Stephens 1-2 in their career head-to-head encounters.

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Pliskova was only a point away from a 3-0 lead in the second set. I think the level was very tough and we were both playing very good tennis.

Adding an exclamation point to her 2018 season, Elina Svitolina won her biggest career title at the WTA Finals in Singapore.

Everything was decided when the score was 6:5 in favor of Svitolina in the 12th game.

"I think for me it's just that the third set really showed that I was mentally tough". The eight seed responded with a forehand victor and pushing Svitolina around the court to get the break back. For years her clay court credentials were never in doubt, with all her seven titles coming on the dirt. "I definitely know what she's talking about".

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

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Bertens double-faulted on break and set point down, and she frustratingly threw her racquet down in disgust after conceding the set in that fashion.

Bertens battled back as she broke in the opening game of the second set but Svitolina took the 10th game to make it 5-5 before taking the set into a tie-break and Bertens levelled the match. In the first one, the rivals exchanged flows.

A gutsy Sloane Stephens recovered from early embarrassment to storm past Karolina Pliskova on Saturday, setting up a mouth-watering WTA Finals decider against in-form Elina Svitolina.

Next up for Svitolina will be the victor of the other semifinal match between Sloane Stephens of the United States and Karolina Pliskova of the Czech Republic.

"It was up-and-down but that's kind of expected because it's the semi-final of a championships". Elina was again stronger on the pitch and Kiki took the lead.

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