Stephens defeats Pliskova in WTA Finals

Stephens defeats Pliskova in WTA Finals

Stephens defeats Pliskova in WTA Finals

Four of her five matches in Singapore went three sets, with only her first win over Petra Kvitova coming in straight sets.

Bertens failed to capitalize on four set points ahead of the second set tiebreaker, but pushed the match into a decisive third set with a return victor on her next set point. "I just came out and played as tough as I could and I'm just really pleased to be through with the win".

"I came out here a little bit nervous and I wasn't quite feeling the ball", said the fifth-seeded Stephens, who is making her debut at the tournament this year.

"It's been a insane year, I think", Osaka told reporters after retiring from her final group match following the loss of the first set to Kiki Bertens on Friday.

"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".

"This really shows that I can play great tennis and definitely is going to bring me lots of confidence".

Sloane Stephens also advanced to the semifinals, improving to 3-0 by beating Angelique Kerber 6-3, 6-3. She is the first player to go through the WTA Finals undefeated since Serena Williams in 2013.

Elina Svitolina will meet Kiki Bertens in the Red Group semi-finals while Singapore debutant Sloane Stephens takes on Karolina Pliskova in the White Group.

Ukraine's Elina Svitolina celebrates after winning her semi final match againast Netherlands' Kiki Bertens.

"If the court was a little bit faster, maybe the result would be on my side today", she said. She converted half of her break points, going six for 12, while she saved nine of the 12 which she encountered during the match. It was Pliskova's first win over her compatriot in four matches between the two.

Last year, defending champion Caroline Wozniacki humiliated Svitolina in the round-robin stage, allowing her just two games.

This was the past year that the WTA Finals will be held in Singapore.

The 21-year-old made her Grand Slam breakthrough in NY last month and followed up with a run to the Pan Pacific Open final in Tokyo and the China Open semi-finals, but a leg injury in Singapore ruined any chance she had of adding to that success.

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.

"Unfortunately, this is the a year ago that Singapore is hosting this unbelievable tournament".

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