Svitolina edges Bertens, Stephens survives bagel to reach Singapore final


Elina Svitolina and Sloane Stephens are the last two women standing at the 2018 BNP Paribas WTA Finals Singapore presented by SC Global and will meet in Sunday’s final not before 7:30 PM local time.

In the first semifinal on Saturday, the sixth-seeded Svitolina won a very tough battle against eighth seed Kiki Bertens 7-5 6-7(5) 6-4. What turned out to be the longest match of the tournament so far featured an early exchange of breaks followed by holds of serve until Svitolina broke Bertens in the final game to take the first set. Despite saving multiple set points and winning three games in a row to lead 6-5, Bertens fought back and won the set in a tiebreak. The decider started with three breaks of serve and Svitolina stopped the trend by holding for a 3-1 lead which she protected until the end.

The second semifinal was defined by a crazy momentum shift in the third game of the second set, as seventh seed Karolina Pliskova won the first eight games of the match, while the fifth-seeded Stephens responded by winning 12 of the next 15 games for a 0-6 6-4 6-1 triumph.

Stephens leads Svitolina 2-1 in head-to-head stats and the American won in straight sets their last and only meeting in 2018.


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