SHENZHEN (China): World number one Ashleigh Barty overcame the hitting power of Karolina Pliskova to set up a mouth-watering WTA Finals decider against defending champion Elina Svitolina although the courts being used for the $14 million showpiece were blasted as “terrible”.
French Open champion Barty prevailed 4-6, 6-2, 6-3 in a matchup of the top two ranked players in the world.
Barty, playing in her WTA Finals debut, will look to cap off a momentous season when she played Svitolina in yesterday’s final.
The Ukrainian won her 10th straight WTA Finals match when a hobbled Belinda Bencic retired while down 5-7, 6-3, 4-1 through injury.
The Swiss struggled with cramping from late in the first set but gamely fought on before retiring hurt.
She was the third player to retire mid-match in the tournament following the withdrawals of Kiki Bertens and Bianca Andreescu.
World number three Naomi Osaka withdrew from the year-ender before her second match against Barty. – AFP