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Elina Svitolina silences her critics after WTA Finals triumph in Singapore

Elina Svitolina silences her critics after WTA Finals triumph in Singapore

I can win one game, maybe I can win two, then three.' And I just started to feel the ball a little better. That was then. On Thursday, Svitolina clinched her semifinal berth with a win against Wozniacki.

Saturday's semi-finals will see Bertens take on White Group victor Elina Svitolina of Ukraine, before Stephens faces big-hitting Czech Karolina Pliskova. She has won her past nine finals on the WTA Tour and not lost one in the last two seasons.

Pliskova's massive serve enabled her to save all 10 break points she faced.

"I have done qualifying for my first final here, beat some fantastic players, played four really great matches".

The 24-year-old then repeated the feat in the decider to become the first player to go unbeaten at the tournament since Serena Williams in 2013.

The No. 6-seeded Svitolina rebounded from a one-set deficit for a 3-6, 6-2, 6-2 win over fifth-seeded Sloane Stephens, the 2017 U.S. Open champion.

Svitolina had been a virtual spectator during the fightback but shook off her passive play and concentrated on depth as opposed to direction, taking advantage of mental lapses from Bertens to claim the opener when her opponent double-faulted.

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

Bertens played too risky a brand of tennis, posting 41 winners to 12 for Svitolina, but also making 63 to 36 unforced errors.

"I was clear with what I had to do on court", she said. "I have had some tough matches here already this week but the day in between helps for recovery". She made the elite-eight field only because of No. 1-ranked Simona Halep's withdrawal with an injury but has proved she belongs.

Kerber was immediately under pressure in the second set and saved seven break points in the fourth game before cracking under the pressure. It will be determined in a pair of Sloane Stephens - Caroline Plskova.

Japan's Naomi Osaka (R) hugs Kiki Bertens of the Netherlands after retiring with an injury during their singles match at the WTA Finals tennis tournament in Singapore on October 26, 2018. 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".

Stephens reached the final by fighting back to beat Karolina Pliskova 0-6 6-4 6-1 in the second semi-final.

But it was enough for Bertens to seal a final four spot in her debut at the season finale, having defeated top seed Kerber earlier in the round-robin phase.