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Haters to the left: Sloane Stephens and Elina Svitolina brush aside criticism to reach WTA Finals Singapore final

Andrew Hendrie in WTA Tour 28 Oct 2018
  • Stephens and Svitolina have advanced into their first WTA Finals Singapore title match
  • Both players have overcome the 'haters' to secure their spot in the final
Sloane Stephens (Photo by ROSLAN RAHMAN/AFP/Getty Images)

Elina Svitolina and Sloane Stephens have overcome difficult back-ends to the season and significant criticism from all areas as they prepare to square off for the prestigious season-ending WTA Finals Singapore title on Sunday.

(geo restrictions apply; funded account required or to have placed a bet in the last 24 hours to qualify)

Uncertain if she’d even be competing in Singapore this week, Svitolina arrived at the tournament reserved for the year’s best eight players in poor form and under heavy fire for her sub-par performances since the French Open. Indeed, Svitolina was without a top 10 win or title since defending her Rome crown in May, but the Ukrainian has put together an extraordinary week in Singapore - and it all started with a dominant win over Petra Kvitova, where she snapped a 12-set losing run against the Czech and had this to say after the triumph.

"I want to take this win as one to go forward, and for all those people and haters that were saying, you know, that I don't deserve to be here and I'm, you know, not good."
Elina Svitolina (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)
Svitolina has since gone on to register a trio of fighting three-set victories over Karolina Pliskova, Caroline Wozniacki and Kiki Bertens to advance into the final.

“When I qualified for this tournament, I definitely decided that I'm going to just go for it and that I'm good enough, I was going to trust my game, trust myself.
“Here I am in the final, so it's something that's really matters with me and really special moment for me, and I think definitely for the future it's something that I can be proud of.”

Meanwhile, Stephens arrived in Asia without a win on the continent in the last three years and following a lacklustre U.S. Open title defence in which she bowed out in the quarter-finals to Anastasija Sevastova.

The American had lost in the first round in three of her last four tournaments, but she’s also conjured up some resurgent form from out of nowhere, emulating Svitolina’s feat of reaching the final without losing a match, beating Angelique Kerber, Naomi Osaka, Kiki Bertens and Karolina Pliskova, the latter of which coming back from 0-6 in the semi-finals to complete a remarkable comeback, claiming the last two sets 6-4 6-1.

And like Svitolina, Stephens felt like she had a point to prove this season and on her Singapore debut.

"After the US Open last year, everyone was, like, 'Oh, she's a one-hit wonder, she'll never do anything again, it was just lucky, no one was playing, blah, blah, blah,' ...this season I was like 'I really want to play a little more consistent, I want to have some better results in the bigger tournaments and just do better to show that I'm I'm a Top 10 or Top whatever player. I think I did that throughout the year."

Stephens has certainly done that in 2018, breaking into the top 10 for the first time with a maiden Premier Mandatory title in Miami and runner-up finishes at the French Open and Rogers Cup.

Whoever wins Sunday’s Singapore final will finish the season at No. 4 in the world. Click here for a full preview of the match.


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Haters to the left: Sloane Stephens and Elina Svitolina brush aside criticism to reach WTA Finals Singapore final

Elina Svitolina and Sloane Stephens have overcome difficult back-ends to the season and significant criticism from all areas as they prepare to square off for the prestigious season-ending WTA Finals Singapore title on Sunday.

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