Sloane Stephens rallies past Karolina Pliskova, reaches title match at WTA Finals

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

Stephens said she was satisfied with her debut WTA Finals.

Svitolina could rise three spots to world number four on the rankings after capturing her fourth title of the year.

Dutch tennis player Kiki Bertens has reached the semi-finals of the WTA Finals tennis championship in Singapore. Even though she still struggled on serve, Svitolina attacked on return and broke twice to wear down a suddenly passive Stephens.

The 21-year-old Osaka, who started the year ranked No. 68 and is now at a career-high No. 4, beat Serena Williams in the U.S. Open final and watched as the 23-time Grand Slam champion argued with the chair umpire and was penalized for it. However, she was more upbeat at the post-match conference, saying, "I really hope that I could have done better, but I think this year has been very eventful, so I should just be grateful for that and I guess just try my best for next year".

"To be at the last four, last tournament of the year, it´s unbelievable".

The encounter possessed a litany of scintillating rallies, as both players exhibited the combination of groundstroke prowess and unimpeachable movement which had pulled each of them through to the final after undefeated round-robin play and challenging three-set semifinal fights.

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Japan's Naomi Osaka reacts after retiring during her singles match against Kiki Bertens of the Netherlands at the WTA Finals tennis tournament in Singapore on October 26, 2018 following an injury.

She saved three break points in the sixth game but was unable to convert two chances of her own in Stephens' next service game.

After a lacklustre start, however, Svitolina began warming to her task and found some range and depth to fashion two break-back points but Stephens' forehand was dialled in and she moved 3-0 ahead when the Ukrainian's backhand faltered. "It helped me a lot with the confidence", she said.

The 24-year-old's momentum continued as she produced an astounding run down victor to break Stephens in the second game.

When the Ukrainian left the court for a bathroom break, Stephens took a positive chat with Sly Black but she opened the second set going a bit lose from the baseline. "I was very proud of my effort today". However, Stephens' movements became heavier, her explosive power looked powerless against Svitolina's athleticism. Elina Svitolina won the ninth final in a row across the last two seasons, the most on the WTA Tour.

In the second, the big difference was Stephens' unforced errors (18 to 6): spurred by her opponent's inconsistency, Svitolina went 3 for 4 on break points.

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