WTA Finals: Sloane Stephens, Kiki Bertens reach semi-finals in Singapore

Virginia Santiago
October 31, 2018

Elina Svitolina claimed the biggest victory of her career by beating Sloane Stephens to win the WTA Finals in Singapore.

The No. 6-seeded Svitolina rebounded from a one-set deficit for a 3-6, 6-2, 6-2 win over fifth-seeded Sloane Stephens, the 2017 U.S. Open champion.

Svitolina broke in the fourth game to take a 3-1 lead, but Bertens immediately broke back before the Ukrainian secured the opening set 7-5 on her first set point. She loses the first set, still comes back wins the second, is I a winning position in the third against Kerber is handsome to see; where before I heard maybe she would have let the second set go. "I think she's still playing similar [to last year], but maybe she was missing much more before", Pliskova said in press after their match earlier in the week.

"There were nerves but I was trying to fight for every ball and I think that made the difference in the end".

Svitolina split with coach Thierry Ascione in October and worked with Andrew Bettles in Singapore but said she would look at her options during the off-season. I know I played great tennis this week and I'm very happy to share this moment with you guys.

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"It's never easy or never nice to win a match like this, but it is what it is".

The No. 6-seeded Svitolina captured the title in only her second appearance at the year-end finals, previous year losing in the round robin portion of the championships in her debut. "I just think keeping the level I had from [the] US Open to now, doing that throughout the entire year is something that I really want to focus on. I'll take it and I'll take my rest, and I have some more recovery time for tomorrow".

In another testing point, it was Svitolina who came out on top after her forehand found the corner with Bertens just only able to get her racquet on it and sent it long. I wouldn't say confident but I'm more, like, I have inner peace.

Before they met in the final, Stephens expressed sympathy for Svitolina.

"I had a bit of an adrenaline dump after I finally won one game - I was really fired up, so I was like 'Okay, come on, let's do this".

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Prior to the final Stephens said her 2018 results have validated her as a consistent Top 10 player.

An energetic Stephens made her pay by converting all three of her break points to draw first blood.

It ended the tournament's five-year run in Singapore with the season-finale moving to Shenzhen.

She mixed power from the baseline with deft drop shots to rattle the 24-year-old.

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