Svitolina advances to 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

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

The pair shared breaks to start the third set before Svitolina secured the decisive break at 2-1 and served out to take the longest match of the tournament. Mostly we just tried to focus on making sure she feels good on court, off court, keeping her happy, and making sure that we keep our daily routine. I always try to be there for that challenge and although not everything worked in the first set, I fought back and that's what brought me to the win today. Svitolina broke back immediately to take a 4-2 lead.

The world No7 broke early in the final set with help from more Bertens errors and rallied with great determination to confirm her place in the final after two hours and 37 minutes.

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

"I came out here a little bit nervous, and I wasn't really feeling the ball", Stephens said. I was, like, I'm going to lose 0-0.

"I have been working really, really hard". Her opponent will be known later.

Elina Svitolina advanced to the semi-finals as White Group victor on Thursday, the Ukrainian joined by big-hitting Czech Karolina Pliskova in the last four.

Stephens rolled through against a slumping Pliskova to complete a monumental turnaround, as the former world number one fell in the semi-finals for the second straight year.

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.

This is the first year since 2011 that Serena Williams didn't win a major title, and she's 37 years old now.

A year ago, Svitolina qualified for her first WTA Finals thanks to five tournament wins in the season, but after she crashed out in the group stage, she knew work was needed to express herself better on court against the very best players.

"It feels fantastic and it was such a tough battle today", said Svitolina, who pumped her fists and then blew kisses to the crowd after winning. I wouldn't say confident but I'm more, like, I have inner peace.

It was a bitterly disappointing end for the 21-year-old, who came into Singapore as the form player but lost three-set matches to Stephens and Kerber.

Stephens staved off seven break points early in the first set and added to the German's frustration by converting the first two she fashioned to pull clear for a 5-2 lead after little could separate the baseliners in the opening exchanges.

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