SINGAPORE - Elina Svitolina beat Kiki Bertens 7-5, 6-7 (5-7), 6-4 on Saturday (Oct 27) to reach the final of the BNP Paribas WTA Finals Singapore presented by SC Global.
The Ukrainian will meet Sloane Stephens in the final after the American beat Czech Karolina Pliskova 0-6, 6-4, 6-1.
The 2hr 39min match between Svitolina and Bertens featured long rallies that had the crowd at the Singapore Indoor Stadium so excited that chair umpire Marija Cicak was prompted to remind them: "It's pretty exciting, but please remain silent during the point."
World No. 7 Svitolina broke first and led 3-1 in the first set, only for her ninth-ranked opponent to break back and level the score at 5-5. A double fault from her Dutch opponent then gave the Ukrainian the set.
Though the Dutchwoman broke to start the second set, Svitolina, 24, saved three set points to break back. Both stayed on serve to force a tie-break, where the 26-year-old edged ahead with a big forehand service return to force a decider.
The third set saw both players exchange breaks of serve after a 13-minute second game that had eight deuces. But Svitolina broke again after two errors off the Bertens backhand to lead 2-1, and remained ahead throughout, pumping her fists and roaring in triumph once victory was sealed.
"It feels amazing. It was such a tough battle today so I'm very happy I could win in the end. It means a lot to me and I'm very happy to share this with you guys," said Svitolina as the crowd cheered.
"Physically in the end it was about running and chasing every ball and I think that was very tough and we both were playing really good tennis so I'm pleased that I continued staying in the match and closed it out."