Svitolina outlasts Bencic to keep WTA finals title defence alive


Shenzhen, China

An indefatigable Elina Svitolina came from behind to outlast a hobbled Belinda Bencic in a gruelling semi-final on Saturday, continuing her dogged quest to defend her WTA Finals title.
The world number eight worked over an ailing Bencic with a comeback 5-7, 6-3, 4-1 victory in one hour and 50 minutes at the Shenzhen Bay Sports Centre. The Swiss struggled with a right leg injury from late in the first set but gamely fought on before calling it a day.
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 Ashleigh Barty. Svitolina will play the winner of the second semi-final between Barty and Karolina Pliskova — the top two ranked players in the world.
The Ukrainian did not lose a set in the round-robin phase and remains on track to claim a maximum prize of US $4.725 million — the highest pay cheque in tennis history. “It´s very tough for her,” Svitolina said. “I´m going to leave everything on the court (in the final) to try to raise the cup again.”
Both players came out firing in a high-quality opening and traded winners but it was the Swiss who impressed with her aggressive approach. Bencic´s freewheeling paid off when a blistering backhand return winner captured the break —AFP

Previous articleCricket bat method to decide first pick of PSL draft, PCB confirms
Next articleBabar pays tribute to Sarfaraz ahead of first T20 against Australia