WTA Finals: Sloane Stephens thumps Karolina Pliskova, enters final

Japan's Naomi Osaka was forced to retire from the WTA Finals with a left hamstring injury

Japan's Naomi Osaka was forced to retire from the WTA Finals with a left hamstring injury

Elina Svitolina of Ukraine defeated Sloane Stephens of the United States in the final of the Women's Tennis Association (WTA) Finals in Singapore to win the biggest title of her career.

Stephens, who is going to play her first final in Singapore, also expressed her happiness as she has outshined some great players in the tournament.

The win means Svitolina will finish the season in the world No. 4 spot in the WTA rankings, behind Simona Halep of Romania, Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark and Angelique Kerber of Germany. "And to have it is my personality", the 24-year-old added. "I think mental toughness is what I really had to show".

Stephens' blistering forehand dictated proceedings, as she ran away with the first set.

Making her debut at the season-ending championship, Stephens ended pool play with a spotless 3-0 Red Group record and eased past Wimbledon champion Angelique Kerber in the semis before coming up short in the final.

Stephens endured a surprisingly awful start against Karolina Pliskova, eating up a first set bagel and a breakdown in the second, before recovering to win 0-6, 6-4,6-1.

A more aggressive Svitolina went for her shots and clawed back into the contest.

"It is wonderful. I am very pleased with my performance this week", said Svitolina, who has won her past nine finals on the WTA Tour and not lost one in the last two seasons. I have been working really, really hard. "And people are out there saying "she shouldn't have even made it to those finals".

"So it is what it is, but like I said, if you're proud of what you're doing and you're happy with it, then snaps to you".

"These past five months, there have been lots of work that I was putting in. That's why my poor results were a little bit disappointing and I was trying to stay positive, because I was giving everything on the practice court and results were not what I expected".

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