By Ros Satar, in Singapore

  • Elina Svitolina [6] def. Caroline Wozniacki [2] 5-7 7-5 6-3
  • Finishes top of the group with three wins and advances to the semi-final for the first time
SINGAPORE – Elina Svitolina ended Caroline Wozniacki’s defence at the WTA Finals needed just one set to book her spot.

 

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Elina Svitolina [6] def. Caroline Wozniacki [2] 5-7 7-5 6-3

Elina Svitolina banished the demons of her disappointing debut last year, by finishing top of the White Group with three wins but was made to work for the single set she needed to advance.

Caroline Wioznaicki in the second round robin match of the WTA Finals 2018, Singapore

Caroline Wioznaicki in the second round robin match of the WTA Finals 2018, Singapore | Jimmie48 Tennis Photography

From the first set it looked as through Caroline Wozniacki was going to be the more aggressive – bringing up three break points in Svitolina’s first game and breaking her the next time around.

Svitolina fought back to level at 4-4 but found herself facing a long fight after losing her serve once more with Wozniacki taking the lead. It looked like we would be in for a repeat of the first set as Svitolina went down a break once more, pegging Wozniacki straight back to keep her chances alive.

With everything on the line for the Ukrainian, she struggled to put away four of the five set points she had, while Wozniacki and two chances to close out her own service to force a tie-break. The fifth set point saw a celebration worthy of a match win, as that was the set needed to secure her qualification, and to be the final nail in the coffin for Wozniacki’s defence.

There was a definite swagger to Svitolina’s step in a competitive third set, with a single break and two match points to send her into her first semi-final.

She said: “I knew that I had to win one set. I mean, there was lots of pressure, and I think for her, as well. We are both was under pressure.

Here, you know, this round robin is not easy, no easy matches, no easy scenarios. So I had to fight for every ball, and I think today I was really pushed mentally to go through really, really tough moments, because, you know, to play against Caroline, you always have to put one extra ball over the net. She always chase every ball. That’s why, for me, was like one of the toughest probably battles mentally.

She was playing like a champion, you know. I was expecting this because all the matches before, she always, when she was down, she was, you know, going for it. That’s why, when I finally got my fifth set point, I said to myself, I’m going to be tough as a nail and not going to give anything.”

The Red Group will determine who their semi-finalists are on Friday.

 

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