31 October, 2018
Ukrainian tennis player Elina Svitolina in a rather tense match was won by Kiki, Bertens and reached the final of the WTA tournament in Singapore. Svitolina received a 3-6, 6-2, 6-2 in two hours and 23 minutes in the championship match of the WTA Finals.
Bertens saved one set point on her serve in the 10th game of the first set, but couldn't repeat that trick in the 12th game, double-faulting at 15-40 to surrender the set.
Svitolina became the eighth player to go undefeated in winning the season-ending title, which features a three-match round-robin format at the outset, and first since Serena Williams in 2013. "It means a lot to me", Svitolina said on court after the match.
Stephens, who won all three of her Red Group matches on her tournament debut before the victory over Pliskova, will hope to recover after her emotional roller-coaster to be ready for Sunday's final.
However Svitolina lost her serve early in the second set to trail 2-0 and it was her turn to save four set points as she rallied from 0-40 down to stay in the set at 5-5.
"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".
Stephens, the 2017 US Open champion, will face Karolina Pliskova of the Czech Republic, while Bertens will face Ukraine's Elina Svitolina.
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"But like I can go inside myself and be like peaceful, so I think maybe in the beginning of the year I was very uncertain with what I was doing".
The 21-year-old Japanese returned with her thigh heavily strapped and was immediately broken to love as she hobbled painfully around the baseline.
"I think for me it's just that the third set really showed that I was mentally tough". "I think that's helped me a little bit".
Stephens made one final effort to fight back, but Svitolina kept the points long to force her opponent into unforced errors as she sought winners and wrapped up a memorable victory when Stephens skewed a backhand wide.
"Well, I have nothing to prove anymore to anyone", Svitolina said after recording the best win of her career. "I knew that I had to play that kind of game, but that comes also with a lot of mistakes", she said. The 37-year-old had scrapped his way into the last four and was expected to be given a tough test by seventh seed Daniil Medvedev but Federer needed only 64 minutes to win 6-1, 6-4.
"It's been a insane year, " Osaka said.