Making her second consecutive appearance at the WTA Finals in Singapore, Elina Svitolina claimed the scalp of the 2017 US Open champion Sloane Stephens in the title match and became the eighth player to go undefeated en route to the prestigious crown (and first since Serena Williams in 2013).
The fifth-seeded Stephens won the first set 6-3, but it was one of the toughest sets with that scoreline that you can imagine. Leading 5-2, Stephens’ body was draining on the court, showing just how difficult it was for her to earn and keep that advantage. The last game was straightforward, though, as she closed the set at love.
In the second set, the sixth-seeded Svitolina was the first to go up, 3-1, and when Stephens broke back, the Ukrainian again took charge, winning 6-2.
The 24-year-old Svitolina won the first three games in the decider and even though Stephens showed great resilience by winning the next two, she absolutely slumped in the sixth game, allowing Svitolina to break her serve again and go 4-2 up, which was soon afterwards 6-2.
Svitolina was involved in the two longest matches at the 2018 WTA Finals – her semifinal win against Kiki Bertens lasted 2 hours and 38 minutes, followed by her round robin win against Caroline Wozniacki, at 2 hours and 35 minutes. Svitolina’s nine titles over the last two seasons is the most on the WTA Tour.
The world No.7 Svitolina is projected to rise to No.4 when the new WTA rankings are released on Monday. When it comes to money, by winning the lucrative season-ending event, Svitolina is earning $2.36 million, far bettering her previous biggest paycheck of $651,347 won in Dubai earlier this year.
Nike is proud clothing sponsor of the Ukrainian champion and she wore their new Nike Winter Court Dress on route to the Singapore title. For more info about her on-court apparel, check out my WTA Finals fashion overview.
Am I the only one who is surprised by this? I mean I always thought she had the talent. It’s just she chokes so badly on the big stages… Congrats Elina and hopefully this will translate to the slams!
Tara, I am not surprised, although Elina wasn’t my top favorite for the title.