Elina Svitolina continued her title defense notching her 7th straight win at the WTA Finals beating Simona Halep 7-5, 6-3 Wednesday in Shenzhen, China.
Halep had beaten Svitolina twice this year including the Wimbledon semifinals.
“I try to work every single point and start from the beginning just trying to take one point at a time,” she explained afterwards of this characteristic. “I don’t really think so much about if it’s good, if it’s bad. Just taking every point, every game at a time. I try to step on the court and to always have positive mindset.”
The win put the 2018 champion into the semifinals in the Purple Group.
“Of course, there is some kind of pressure because you’re losing points in this week,” she said. “I think this kind of thing is pressure. I always try to never take it that way. I always try to take it as: I played well here, so let’s find this year as well. This kind of mindset, this kind of game, it takes work to do it.”
Karolina Pliskova stayed alive in the Purple Group advancing when Bianca Andreescu retired after dropping the first set 6-3. The oft-injured Canadian succumbed to a left knee issue she suffered in the first set.
“I stepped weirdly on a return,” Andreescu said. “I heard my knee crack. It kind of went inwards. Putting pressure afterwards on it really bothered me. I could barely bend my knee. But I fought with the pain as much as I could.
“At some point an athlete has to say ‘stop’ and just listen to their body. That’s what I did.
“It’s disappointing ’cause this is the last tournament of the year, you want to go all out,” she continued. “You’re playing one of the biggest tournaments of the year, too. It’s not easy.”
The US Open champ will await the results of an MRI. She ends 2019 having lost her last three matches.
With Svitolina already in the last four, who will join her from the Red Group? Tomorrow, Ash Barty will advance with a win over Petra Kvitova. And Belinda Bencic also gets through if she beats replacement Kiki Bertens.
THURSDAY WTA FINALS SHENZHEN SCHEDULE
ORDER OF PLAY (starts 4pm)
 Barbora KREJCIKOVA (CZE) / Katerina SINIAKOVA (CZE) vs  Samantha STOSUR (AUS) / ZHANG Shuai (CHN)
Not before 6.30pm
 Ashleigh BARTY (AUS) vs  Petra KVITOVA (CZE)
Not before 8pm
[Alt] Kiki BERTENS (NED) vs  Belinda BENCIC (SUI)
 HSIEH Su-WEi (TPE) / Barbora STRYCOVA (CZE) vs  Gabriela DABROWSKI (CAN) / XU Yifan (CHN)
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