SINGAPORE - She was one of the last women to make the field, and now she's still alive headed to the last day.
No.6 seed Elina Svitolina outlasted No.8 seed Kiki Bertens to reach her biggest career final at the BNP Paribas WTA Finals presented by SC Global, 7-5, 6-7(5), 6-4.
"It was such a tough battle today and I'm very happy I could win in the end. It means a lot to me," Svitolina said on-court after the match.
"I think physically, in the end, it was just about running and chasing every ball down. I think the level was very tough and we were both playing very good tennis. I'm very pleased that I could stay in the match and close it."
Though Bertens blasted 41 winners and seven aces, Svitolina wore down the Dutch No.1 over the course of two hours and 38 minutes - in the longest match of the week in Singapore thus far.
The Ukranian toughed out an opening set where she first let an early break slip away, and though Bertens pushed the match to a decider after having five set points in the second set, Svitolina rode a second early break across the finish line.
"When I qualified for this tournament, definitely decided that I'm going to just go for it and I'm good enough," Svitolina said. "I'm going to trust my game, going to trust myself. Here I am in the final, so it's something that's...a really special moment for me, and I think definitely for the future it's something that I can be proud of.
"I was just telling myself, Next point, just go for it, don't wait for anything. Just be out there. As my coach said, 'Just show up and, you know, do the job. And then if you lose, you have no regrets.'
"That's I think what I did. For me, that really showed that I can play great tennis in big stages. That's what matters for me. I think it's good step for me for the future and for the Grand Slams, as well."