Adrenalin rush sparks Stephens advance to WTA finals showdown

Dean Simpson
October 31, 2018

"I think I have nothing to prove anymore to anyone", she told the media after the final. Tried something a little different.

Pliskova said she produced her "best set" of the year before the dramatic change. "I think I did that throughout the year".

"When I qualified for this tournament, I definitely decided that I'm going to just go for it and I'm good enough", Svitolina said.

It was an unexpected result after Pliskova's early domination through power and precision to blitz through the first set in 31 minutes. The Ukrainian had two opportunities to break Stephens' serve in the next game, but the latter saved the first break point with a forehand victor down the line and the second with a backhand cross-court victor.

She then staved off a break point to level at 2-2 and subsequently broke to love as the momentum swung firmly in her favour thanks to Pliskova spraying narrowly wide again.

Svitolina held another tight service game to stay alive in the opener, but Stephens sealed the set when her opponent could only find the net with a backhand.

Stephens leads Svitolina 2-1 in their head-to-head stats, the American enjoying a straight-sets win over the Ukrainian in the last meeting at the Rogers Cup in August.

Saturday's semi-finals will see Bertens take on White Group victor Elina Svitolina of Ukraine, before Stephens faces big-hitting Czech Karolina Pliskova.

Her defensive prowess wore down Bertens, who blasted 41 winners but made 63 unforced errors.

And in the twelfth Game of Svitolina on the pitch Bertens won the set. I think the level was very tough and we were both playing very good tennis.

For a place in the final, Svitolina fought Nederlandse Kiki, Bertens. "It means a lot to me", Svitolina said on court after the match.

"In the end, it's the small details that really matter the most".

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.

Bertens was on the brink of levelling it up at 40-0 in the 10th game but cracked under the pressure. The 37-year-old had scrapped his way into the last four and was expected to be given a tough test by seventh seed Daniil Medvedev but Federer needed only 64 minutes to win 6-1, 6-4.

The Ukrainian raced to a 3-0 lead in the third set, but Stephens managed to secure a break in the fifth game.

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