Critics are left silenced by Elina Svitolina

Sloane Stephens 2018 WTA Finals

Svitolina fittingly forced a decider in a tournament which has had a record-setting amount of three-set matches. Pliskova served her fourth double fault to give Stephens a double break lead of 4-1 and she powered on to take her place in Sunday's final by wrapping up the set 6-1.

From there Stephens found her footing and seventh-seeded Pliskova began to derail.

Svitolina split with coach Thierry Ascione in October and worked with Andrew Bettles in Singapore but said she would look at her options during the off-season. "Even when I'd lost the first eight games, they were still cheering for me". "Then I won one game and you know the rest". And then if you lose, you have no regrets'.

She has now won 13 of 15 finals she's played in her career, including the last nine with her last final loss coming in 2016 to Petra Kvitova at the Zhuhai tournament.

Pliskova was only a point away from a 3-0 lead in the second set. "I'll be up against a tough opponent and I'll have to play my absolute best".

Despite her defeat, Stephens said: "My first time in Singapore was incredible".

Earlier, Svitolina reached the biggest final of her career as she overcame Kiki Bertens in three sets.

However, Svitolina responded instantly, taking the first of two break points to re-establish control and holding serve to move to within one game of the title.

"I think for me it's just that the third set really showed that I was mentally tough".

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"There's still lots of work ahead", said sixth-seeded Svitolina.

"There was lots of talk about my second part of the season and my performance lately, so this really motivated me", she added.

This is the first year since 2011 that Serena Williams didn't win a major title, and she's 37 years old now.

Pliskova was equally relentless at the start of the second set, breaking again to register an eighth game in a row before Stephens finally got on the scoreboard, roaring as if she had won the match when she broke back.

Naomi Osaka of Japan is comforted by Kiki Bertens of the Netherlands after retiring from the match in the Women's singles against during day 6 of the BNP Paribas WTA Finals. In the first one, the rivals exchanged flows.

This was the past year that the WTA Finals will be held in Singapore.

"It was up-and-down but that's kind of expected because it's the semi-final of a championships".

This time it was the Ukraine's Elina Svitolina's turn for a comeback.

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