Singapore | Svitolina sees off Bertens to reach WTA Final
Elina Svitolina may have arrived in Singapore as an underdog for the Billie Jean King trophy, but she emerged from the 8-woman draw in the final after an epic battle with debutant Kiki Bertens to become one of the last two women still standing.
"It was such a tough battle today and I'm very happy I could win in the end. It means a lot to me Elina Svitolina
The BNP Paribas WTA Finals Singapore presented by SC Global is the toughest draw of all, pitching the top best 8 finishers in the Porsche Race to Singapore against each other over a week of intense match play.
That Svitolina found the fortitude to beat Bertens in the semi-final after coming through the round robin stage to win the White Group without loss, is exemplary.
Beating Bertens to make her 4th final of the year is the biggest achievement of her career so far, and she is now looking to make one last supreme effort in the final to lift the trophy on Sunday.
In her second consecutive appearance at the WTA Finals, she outlasted Kiki Bertens, 7-5 6-7(5) 6-4, to reach the title-match after 2 hours and 42 minutes, with just three points separating them at its conclusion.
“It was such a tough battle today and I’m very happy I could win in the end. It means a lot to me,” the Ukrainian said on-court after the match.
“I think physically, in the end, it was just about running and chasing every ball down. I think the level was very tough and we were both playing very good tennis. I’m very pleased that I could stay in the match and close it.”
Bertens played an extremely aggressive match, as her 63 unforced errors testified, but
though Bertens blasted 41 winners and 7 aces, Svitolina wore down the Dutch No 1 over the course of the longest match of the week.
The Ukranian toughed out the opening set in which she let an early break slip away, and although Bertens pushed the match into a decider after having 5 set points in the second set, Svitolina rode an early break across the finish line.
“It feels amazing but there’s still lots of work ahead of me tomorrow,” the 24-year-old World No 7 said.
“It’s going to be very, very tough but it will be my last match of the season, so I will leave everything out on the court.”
Poised and positive, Svitolina has blossomed in Singapore into a major force to be reckoned with.
That she has found form again after an indifferent lead-up to Singapore is testimony to her working with a mysterious man, who helped her to get through the criticism due to her loss of weight.
“So I’m not going to say who’s that. Keep it to a mysterious man who made it clear what I have to do, and it a little bit opened my mind. So I’m really thankful for that man.