Sloane Stephens v Karolina Pliskova — WTA Finals

An unwavering Elina Svitolina claimed the biggest title of her career with a gritty comeback victory against Sloane Stephens at the season-ending WTA Finals in Singapore.

The American beat Kerber 6-3, 6-3 becoming the first player since Garbine Muguruza in 2015 to win all three of her matches in the round robin.

U.S. Open champion Osaka took to the court with tape on the back of her leg for a problem that flared up in her defeat to Angelique Kerber on Wednesday and was competitive for half a set before opting to withdraw after Bertens took the opener 6-3.

"It was just getting worse and worse every time I played".

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.

It was more of a mental game for Svitolina. "I was very proud of my effort today". Like a bunch of photographers and she held a press conference with over 400 media outlets and stuff, which is ridiculous, but lovely to see as well that one individual can spark such a hype and create this big wave through a whole nation and being part of it makes me feel very proud and blessed.

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).

The 21-year-old Japanese returned with her thigh heavily strapped and was immediately broken to love as she hobbled painfully around the baseline. I think the level was very tough and we were both playing very good tennis. On her first match point, a Stephens backhand flew wide as Svitolina fell to the ground in joy. "It means a lot to me", Svitolina said on court after the match.

Prior to the final Stephens said her 2018 results have validated her as a consistent Top 10 player.

Elina Svitolina reached the final of the world Cup.

In another testing point, it was Svitolina who came out on top after her forehand found the corner with Bertens just only able to get her racquet on it and sent it long.

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

Next up for Svitolina will be the victor of the other semifinal match between Sloane Stephens of the United States and Karolina Pliskova of the Czech Republic.

It ended the tournament's five-year run in Singapore with the season-finale moving to Shenzhen.

Pliskova started great this week with a retribution win against the woman who ousted her in the semifinals past year, Wozniacki.

  • Steve Townsend