Svitolina hopeful of major progress after making Singapore strides

Kiki Bertens BNP Paribas WTA Finals Singapore presented by SC Global WTA Finals Simona Halep Karolina Pliskova Garbiñe Muguruza Elina Svitolina Caroline Wozniacki Venus Williams Jelena Ostapenko Caroline Garcia

Kiki Bertens BNP Paribas WTA Finals Singapore presented by SC Global WTA Finals Simona Halep Karolina Pliskova Garbiñe Muguruza Elina Svitolina Caroline Wozniacki Venus Williams Jelena Ostapenko Caroline Garcia

"I knew that I had to play that kind of game, but that comes also with a lot of mistakes", she said. I just tried to stay in it, and get as many balls back as I could. Here I am in the final, so it's something that's.a really special moment for me, and I think definitely for the future it's something that I can be proud of.

Both Svitolina and Stephens posted 3-0 round-robin records before winning their semifinals.

Stephens, the 2017 US Open champion, controlled the first set but Svitolina broke three times in the second.

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

But she did not relinquish her lead from then on, out-rallying Stephens to win the set and force a decider. Bertens lost just once, to Sloane Stephens, but even then, made the American work very hard for the win.

"But after I won the first game there was a rush of adrenalin and I told myself that if I could win one game, then I could win another".

Heading to her biggest career final, Svitolina will seek her 13th career title and fourth this season, following the Brisbane International, Dubai Tennis Championships and Italian Open.

Svitolina could rise three spots to world number four on the rankings after her triumph and she has now won nine straight finals.

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

Stephens, making her debut at the WTA Finals, surrendered her serve again on a first match point for Svitolina in the eighth game by sending a backhand crosscourt wide.

Elina Svitolina says she has "nothing to prove" after beating Sloane Stephens to win the WTA Finals title on Sunday.

"I think physically I was a little bit stronger, and mentally I pushed myself a little bit more". The eight seed responded with a forehand victor and pushing Svitolina around the court to get the break back. "It's the last match of the season, definitely now, and I'm going to give my best and leave everything on court".

Bertens only qualified for the WTA Finals just days before the tournament after world number one Simona Halep withdrew due to injury.

However, she appeared bewilderingly short of her best as she was bagelled in the first set, Pliskova taking the first eight games of the match without reply.

Serving for her place in the final, Svitolina saved two break points before shutting Bertens down.

It is remarkable how changed a player Elina Svitolina is one year on from cutting a miserable form at the end of the group stages.

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