Elina Svitolina booked a final battle against Petra Kvitova at the Huajin Securities WTA Elite Trophy Zhuhai after coming back from a set down to oust the No.1 seed Johanna Konta.
WTA Staff

ZHUHAI, China - Elina Svitolina booked a battle against Petra Kvitova in the final of the Huajin Securities WTA Elite Trophy Zhuhai after coming back from a set down to oust the No.1 seed Johanna Konta.

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Svitolina, who last year reached the semifinals here in Zhuhai, had vowed to go one round farther, and the Ukrainian made good on that promise with her rollercoaster victory over Konta, 2-6, 6-1, 6-4.

But with Konta fully in control of the first set, the final looked far away from Svitolina, who was broken twice as Konta seemed set to cruise through the match.

In the second set, Svitolina took advantage of Konta's shaky service game to open the set with a break, and once she had a foothold she tore the match open. Svitolina raced ahead to a 5-0 lead in less than 17 minutes.

"I think she did a really great job of putting herself back into the match," Konta reflected in her post-match press conference. "She also raised her level; I definitely dropped mine a bit. I think the momentum just shifted and then I couldn't quite recover it. She kept running away with it really.

"[I] really wasn't in it much at the end. It was interesting."

Konta held her serve to stop the rot for 5-1, but Svitolina fired off three aces in a row in the next game to see off the challenge, sealing the set with a blistering forehand.

Svitolina continued the romp in the deciding set, righting an early wobble to turn around a 1-3 deficit and break Konta two more times, letting out a victorious roar as she advanced to the biggest final of her career after an hour and 43 minutes.

"I screamed because I served for the match; second, that I won this tough, tough match," Svitolina explained. "Because she is playing really good now, and this year she had really, really amazing year. She was quite confident.

"So this win means a lot, when I beat some players who are higher than me. It's always really, really positive and great experience. It's just one of the wins that brings me confidence."

Svitolina will need all of that confidence tomorrow when she faces Kvitova in the final; they've played six times previously with the Czech has winning their five most recent matches.

"She's very, very powerful player, so I need to react really fast and look for opportunity," Svitolina said. "Just stay in the moment, because you never know when the opportunity is going to come.

"So I will try just to focus on each point and we will see. 'React fast' is going to be one of the main goals tomorrow."