Adrenalin rush sparks Stephens advance to WTA finals showdown

Can't connect right now!

However, the second set - which lasted 48 minutes - was a different story as number six seed Svitolina finished strongly, winning three games in a row to take it 6-2 and square the match.

Sixth seed Svitolina moved into the biggest final of her career with a hard-fought 7-5 6-7 (5-7) 6-4 defeat of Kiki Bertens in Singapore on Saturday.

"It is fantastic. I am very pleased with my performance this week", said Svitolina, who has won her past nine finals on the WTA Tour and not lost one in the last two seasons. I know I played great tennis this week and I'm very happy to share this moment with you guys.

The match started tensely, with Kerber unable to convert seven break points in Stephens´ first three service games, and the missed opportunities proved costly.

There was no looking back for Svitolina, who defended solidly and attacked when she could.

After dropping her first set she did not let Stephens even to take the lead in the match.

Svitolina's triumph was her 13th victory in 15 finals and should fill her full of confidence as she looks to make a Grand Slam breakthrough in 2019. "Obviously, I lost a little bit energy in the third set". We had Naomi Osaka as the contender most likely to win and Elina Svitolina at the very bottom.

Bertens had earlier also progressed from the red group after reigning US Open champion Naomi Osaka of Japan was forced to retire injured when trailing 6-3 to the Dutch player.

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. I just tried to stay in it, and get as many balls back as I could. "For me, it's just been a lot of new experiences".

But it was enough for Bertens to seal a final four spot having defeated Kerber earlier in the round-robin phase.

The shock waves started at the Australian Open, where Caroline Wozniacki finally punched through to win her first major (Note to Svitolina haters: Wozniacki's springboard to the title was her win at the 2017 WTA Finals). Next year the tournament will be happening in the Chinese city of Shenzhen. It's just matter of whether she can rattle an opponent who has not dropped a match this week.

A left hamstring injury seems to be bothering Osaka, although she wouldn't discuss it during her press conference on Wednesday.

  • Stacy Allen