World number one female tennis player Ashleigh Barty registered a 4-6, 6-2, 6-3 win over the world number two Karolina Pliskova to cement her place in the final of the WTA Finals 2019. She will face the defending champion Elina Svitolina in the final.
Playing in her first WTA year-ending championships, Barty came back stronger after losing the first set to take the match in one hour 53 minutes. Although she struggled on the serve, she looked comfortable with the slices and crafty lobs.
Elina Svitolina defeated Belinda Bencic 5-7, 6-3, 4-1 as the latter retired due a hamstring injury in the middle of the third set.
Bencic made Svitolina drop a set for the first time in the tournament and won the first set with an aggressive display. However, Svitolina went on to frustrate Bencic with her down-the-line shots, making it harder for the Swiss to run crosscourt.
Bencic became the third player after Kiki Bertens and Bianca Andreescu to retire mid-match in the tournament. The Swiss also criticized the court conditions after the match, calling them terrible for the movement of the players.
Ashleigh Barty vs Elina Svitolina Preview
Elina Svitolina is playing the best tennis of her career. She has dropped only one set on her way to the final and is now on a 9-match winning streak at the WTA Finals. She did not enter the tournament as a favourite but is the only player to have won all her group matches. The defending champion has hit an average of 8.3 aces per match, with a career-best 16 aces in the semifinals against Bencic.
She did not win a single title this year and would be looking to get her hands on the Billie Jean King Trophy for the second straight time. The Ukrainian has finished her year by winning at least one title since 2013 and will be looking to keep the same momentum going on.
Barty, on the other hand, has not been able to impress after her French Open win earlier this year. Although consistent, slow starts have been a reason to worry for the current world number one. Her ability to turn the matches is something we have got to see at the ongoing tournament during her matches against Belinda Bencic and Karolina Pliskova.
The Australian will be looking to win her maiden WTA Finals title on her debut and also become the second Australian to lay her hands on the year-ending trophy. She will end the year ranked number one, becoming the first Australian female player to hold the top spot in the history of WTA.
Ashleigh Barty vs Elina Svitolina Head-to-Head
Talking about the head-to-head record between the world number one and the world number eight, Barty does not have history on her side. In their previous five encounters, Svitolina has come up a winner in all the matches. Their most recent encounter was at Indian Wells earlier this year, where Svitolina won the match 7-6(8), 5-7, 6-4.
To make matters worse, Barty has been able to win only two sets against her opponent. Seeing the form Svitolina has been in this whole tournament, Barty would not enter the match as the favourite even after being the top-ranked player.
WTA Finals Prize Money
The winner of today's match will go on to win the biggest prize money in the history of professional tennis, men's and women's included. If Svitolina wins the title, she will get $4.725 million as she did not lose a single group match. On the other hand, Barty will get $4.42 million with the title, having lost one group match.
2019 WTA Finals Schedule (3rd November)
Tournament name: 2019 Shiseido WTA Finals Shenzhen
Category: Year-ending championships
Final: Elina Svitolina vs Ashleigh Barty (5 PM IST)
Broadcast: No live telecast in India
Live score: wtafinals.com
You can follow all the coverage of the WTA Finals 2019 here on Sportskeeda.