By Ros Satar, in Singapore
- Elina Svitolina  def. Karolina Pliskova  6-3 2-6 6-3
- Has to win one set to qualify for the semi-finals
SINGAPORE – Elina Svitolina continued to make up for last year’s lost ground with a hard fought win over Karolina Pliskova but still all to play for on Thursday.
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Elina Svitolina  def. Karolina Pliskova  6-3 2-6 6-3
Now fully recovered from her dizzy spell in her first match press conference, Elina Svitolina continued her commanding form as she battled past Karolina Pliskova to earn her second win of the WTA Finals.
Svitolina found herself tested early though, with a 15 minute game that saw 10 deuces, and the Ukrainian saving six break points before holding on the 26th point. In the end though it was a single break that would do for the first set.
The second set was competitive at the start and the flurries of break points we saw at the start were missing as the pair ran through more confident holds, but a break to love from Pliskova injected a bit of hope back into her game, with a second break to level the match.
There it looked as though that effort had taken it out of Pliskova, as she rapidly found herself a double break down at 1-4, but nerves gave Svitolina a bit of a hard time with four breaks in a row to close out the match for the Ukrainian.
While her head to head against Pliskova had not been quite as daunting as that against Petra Kvitova, buoyed by the fact that she had at least stopped the rot and win the last two matches they had played, it was still going to be a tactical game, as she explained after the match.
She said: “My goal was to make an extra ball over the net and fight until the very end and for every point, to don’t give any easy errors.
“I think this was the key today. It worked really good, because I think Karolina was up and down and struggling sometimes with her serve. I had to be ready to take my chances. That’s why I’m very happy with that.
“I was thinking how long we are playing this game? No more. (Smiling). It was actually a very tough game, because we were both I think a little bit struggling with our nerves, because few opening games, few opportunities here and there. It’s a break for Karolina, and then to hold for me and few errors. So that’s why I think this game was very important. It gave me a boost of confidence to go into the, you know, next games.”
Pliskova echoed the fact that the third game might have been a little more pivotal than she might have wanted when asked how long it had taken to shake that game off.
“A set (smiling). I think it was a huge game. It was pretty similar to yesterday, day before when I played against Caro. So it was also huge game, the third one. It change completely.
“I was pretty negative about the way how I played my break points and that I lost the game. But overall, I was just unlucky also on one hand. This game, I could have won it, it could be different, but it was not.
“And maybe, you know, I should not think about it too much, because I think it had big influence on the first set. But anyway, I just, you know, reset after the first set, and I think I played very good match after.”
Thursday will see all four players with all to fight for, as the final round-robin will determine the line-up.
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