Elina Svitolina produced another strong performance to make it four wins out of four in Singapore and reach the final.
Elina Svitolina battled her way into a first WTA Finals title-decider after being pushed all the way by Kiki Bertens in Singapore.
Svitolina is just one victory away from claiming the biggest crown of her career following a hard-fought 7-5 6-7 (5-7) 6-4 win on Saturday.
The Ukrainian said she is on a mission to silence the “haters” this week and has surely already achieved that with four victories out of four.
Bertens, only making her debut in the season-ending tournament because Simona Halep was ruled out with a back injury, caused Svitolina plenty of problems with her aggressive approach, but a mammoth 63 unforced errors cost the eighth seed.
Svitolina was more composed and defended superbly throughout an absorbing contest which took two hours and 38 minutes to settle, sealing a place in the final against Karolina Pliskova or Sloane Stephens.
.@ElinaSvitolina outlasts Bertens, 7-5, 6-7(5), 6-4!
— WTA (@WTA) October 27, 2018
The world number nine hit straight back with vigour, applying the pressure with venomous forehands to get back on serve, but a series of errors from the baseline gifted Svitolina another break – and the opening set.
Bertens threw her racket down in fury following one of those unforced errors, but regained her composure to take a 2-0 lead in the second set following some instructions from her coach Raemon Sluiter.
A resilient Svitolina saved four break points before breaking back to level at 5-5, only for Bertens to edge a tie-break which included seven mini-breaks, a rasping return taking it to a decider.
The Dutchwoman was furious with herself once again when she steered an attempted drop shot into the net to give Svitolina a break, yet responded impressively again to win a Svitolina service game which lasted over 13 minutes.
A couple of poor backhands handed Svitolina another break for a 2-1 lead and the unpredictable Bertens was unable to find a way back, the world number seven saving two break points before finally grinding it out.
Svitolina  bt Bertens  7-5 6-7 (5-7) 6-4
Svitolina – 12/36
Bertens – 41/63
Svitolina – 3/2
BREAK POINTS WON
Svitolina – 5/8
FIRST SERVE PERCENTAGE
Svitolina – 59
Bertens – 60
PERCENTAGE OF POINTS WON ON FIRST/SECOND SERVE
Svitolina – 66/56
Bertens – 69/52
Svitolina – 114
Bertens – 111