Svitolina wins marathon battle with Bertens to reach Singapore final

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

"It means a lot to me", Svitolina said on court after the match.

"I've just got one more to go".

With both trying to put pressure on each other as they rallied, Svitolina was the steadier of the two in the second set.

Stephens broke back immediately and served out to take the set 6-4 and level the match.

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

Pliskova should prove a taller order in more ways than one as whereas Kerber's first serve was largely bad, rarely putting significant pressure on Stephens while simultaneously stacking it all on herself, the 6ft 1 Czech is among the best servers on Tour. "This is going to bring a lot of confidence, as I have finished the season on a high note".

"I'm going to speak with Andy and see the best options, which coaches are available at the moment to try to work for some time." said the 24-year-old.

"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".

"At 6-0 2-0 you don't have anything to lose, so you can kind of do whatever at that point and hope for the best".

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

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"I think I have nothing to prove anymore to anyone and it's definitely a good statement for myself", Svitolina said.

In such an evenly-matched struggle - Svitolina won 114 points, just three more than her opponent - small details were what shifted the balance of power in the Ukrainian's favor, as she had to cope with Bertens' 41 winners and seven aces.

Svitolina finally got on the scoreboard in the fourth game but the American continued to pound away at the corners to maintain her break advantage.

"But I was staying very positive and I think that's what made the difference this week". The eight seed responded with a forehand victor and pushing Svitolina around the court to get the break back. "I definitely know what she's talking about".

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.

The Ukrainian broke to start the final set, but Bertens hit right back breaking in an epic second game which saw eight deuces and four break points for the Dutchwoman.

Svitolina looked sluggish after playing the two longest matches in the tournament against Wozniacki and Bertens.

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.

Svitolina has looked on a mission at the WTA Finals in an effort to make amends for a lacklustre early exit previous year. It will be determined in a pair of Sloane Stephens - Caroline Plskova.

Elina Svitolina of the Ukraine, right, greet by Kiki Bertens of the Netherlands after their women's singles semi final match at the WTA tennis finals in Singapore, Saturday, Oct. 27, 2018.

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