The White Group at the WTA Finals in Singapore remained wide open all the way until the third round of round-robin play and on Thursday the final round saw Elina Svitolina and Karolina Pliskova progress into the semifinals of the lucrative season-ending tournament.
The sixth-seeded Svitolina, the group’s leader, needed to take at least one set from second seed Caroline Wozniacki on Thursday and the Ukrainian remained undefeated at the 2018 WTA Finals despite at first going down a set and a break in the second set. In what was the longest match so far in Singapore, Svitolina celebrated 5-7 7-5 6-3 in two hours and 35 minutes against Wozniacki, who later revealed a shocking fact that she was unexpectedly diagnosed with autoimmune disease called rheumatoid arthritis in August (it causes pain and swelling in the joints).
The seventh-seeded Pliskova progressed from the group by ousting fourth seed Petra Kvitova 6-3 6-4 for the first time in their four career meetings. To stand any chance of making the semifinals, Kvitova needed to win in straight sets, while now she’s leaving the tournament without a single win after three round-robin matches.
The two semifinalists from the Red Group will be determined on Friday in encounters Naomi Osaka vs. Kiki Bertens and Angelique Kerber vs. Sloane Stephens.