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Svitolina will style beat Stevens in the final of the tournament

31 October 2018

Stephens, who won all three of her Red Group matches on her tournament debut before the victory over Pliskova, will hope to recover after her emotional roller-coaster to be ready for Sunday's final.

However, she appeared bewilderingly short of her best as she was bagelled in the first set, Pliskova taking the first eight games of the match without reply.

A pumped-up Svitolina made the better start, chasing down every ball to earn an early break, but the aggressive Bertens broke back as she began to find her range with a blistering forehand loaded with heavy topspin. "The third set really showed that I was mentally tough".

She said: "I think I have nothing to prove anymore to anyone. Obviously, it's not the way I wanted to finish, but I worked really hard to get here and I can be really proud of my result today".

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Vettel said: "I think we got more or less everything out of the vehicle , but dropping to fourth from second is not satisfying". But make it to the end he did - in the face of a surging Sebastian Vettel who was on Daniel Ricciardo's tail for large parts.

This year is the first time since the round-robin format was reintroduced in 2003 that none of the top four seeded players - No. 1 Angelique Kerber, No. 2 Caroline Wozniacki, No. 3 Osaka and No. 4 Petra Kvitova - reached the semifinals.

Last year Svitolina became the first Ukrainian woman to play singles at the WTA Finals. The Ukrainian who said she was training for the second-tier Year-End Championships in Zhuhai has done brilliantly this week as she has gone unbeaten and will face Sloane Stephens for the title tomorrow.

"I was thinking, "I made it all the way to the semi-final and I'm not just going to lose but this is so embarrassing", Stephens told reporters as she recalled her feelings at 6-0 and 2-0 down.

"I feel like I'm more - I wouldn't say "confident" - but I'm more.I have inner peace, like zen", she added.

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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. She converted half of her break points, going six for 12, while she saved nine of the 12 which she encountered during the match. He is a former WTA Writer of the Year and the author of numerous books, including the classic "The Courts of Babylon" and the New York Times bestseller (with Pete Sampras), "A Champion's Mind".

Elina Svitolina won the BNP Paribas WTA Finals with a three-set success over Sloane Stephens in Singapore. "It means a lot to me", Svitolina said on court after the match.

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

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Svitolina will style beat Stevens in the final of the tournament