Svitolina fights past Bertens to secure first WTA final

Svitolina fights past Bertens to secure first WTA final

Svitolina arrived in Singapore out of form yet determined to "silence the haters", who she said believed that she did not deserve to be in the tournament, and the Ukrainian has played brilliantly to win all three pool matches and her semi-final.

In the second set Stephens dropped serve for the first time with the help of a handful on enforced errors to give Svitolina a 3-1 lead, and Svitolina would drop only one other game to force a third.

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"It is awesome. I am very pleased with my performance this week", said Svitolina, who has won her past nine finals on the WTA Tour and not lost one in the last two seasons.

The former US Open champion triumphed on Saturday against an inconsistent Pliskova 0-6, 6-4, 6-1 in one hour and 55 minutes in Singapore.

It was really sad and to be honest we haven't really spoken about it that much right after, she didn't really want to speak about it and I respect that. "Not the way I wanted to finish but I worked really hard to get here and I can be really proud of my results", she said.

"It is never easy or never nice to win a match like this, but it is what it is". I think the level was very tough and we were both playing very good tennis.

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"I think physically I was a little bit stronger, and mentally I pushed myself a little bit more".

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

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

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. So I want to encourage her to do that more, making sure she makes the right decisions on court, understanding when to play what ball. Stephens leads Svitolina 2-1 in their head-to-head stats, the American enjoying a straight-sets win over the Ukrainian in the last meeting at the Rogers Cup in August.

Next up for Svitolina will be the victor of the other semifinal match between Sloane Stephens of the United States and Karolina Pliskova of the Czech Republic. Kerber says she plans to take a four-week rest this year like she did last year. after learning from her mistakes in 2016 "2016 was definitely not enough free".

"It's been a insane year, " Osaka said.