Svitolina eyes Grand Slam success after Singapore triumph

Svitolina eyes Grand Slam success after Singapore triumph

Sloane Stephens overcame a bad start against Karolina Pliskova to win 0-6, 6-4, 6-1 at the WTA Finals on Saturday, setting up a championship match against Elina Svitolina.

"I've just got one more to go". "I just tried to stay in it, get as many balls back as I could and am really proud of my fight today".

Svitolina fittingly forced a decider in a tournament which has had a record-setting amount of three-set matches.

From there Stephens found her footing and seventh-seeded Pliskova began to derail. "This is going to bring a lot of confidence, as I have finished the season on a high note". It's like I'm trying so hard.

"Then I lost that second game in the third set where I was just struggling a little bit but bounced back straightaway".

Svitolina steamrolled over the reigning champion Caroline Wozniacki, the Czech players Petra Kvitova and Karolina Pliskova at the group stage.

The second set looked poised to follow a similar pattern as Pliskova made it eight games in a row, but Stephens finally stemmed the tide and broke when a rare errant forehand came off the racquet of the former world number one.

Pliskova was only a point away from a 3-0 lead in the second set.

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"I think for me the third set really showed that I was mentally tough".

A determined Elina Svitolina overcame the relentless power of Kiki Bertens during a gruelling semi-final in Singapore, continuing a dogged quest for her first WTA Finals triumph.

Back then, the "haters" - Svitolina's word - complained that she had backed into the year-end championships so unconvincingly that you could nearly hear her going beep-beep-beep.

The world number seven drew first blood when Bertens double-faulted on set point, as the Dutchwoman threw her racquet in frustration after a first set riddled with 21 unforced errors. The eight seed responded with a forehand victor and pushing Svitolina around the court to get the break back.

Svitolina added: "I was clear with what I had to do on court".

Svitolina is chasing her fourth title this season, having already won at Brisbane, Dubai and Rome. "I definitely know what she's talking about". The eighth-seeded Bertens eventually qualified for the eight-player field when No. 1 Simona Halep withdrew from the tournament with a back injury.

She saved three break points in the sixth game but was unable to convert two chances of her own in Stephens' next service game.

Naomi Osaka of Japan is comforted by Kiki Bertens of the Netherlands after retiring from the match in the Women's singles against during day 6 of the BNP Paribas WTA Finals.

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