Elina Svitolina won her ninth straight match at the WTA Finals in Shenzhen to make a return trip to the title match where she will take on French Open champion and world No. 1 Ash Barty.
Svitolina came from a set down and then got a retirement due to cramping in the decider from Belinda Bencic down 5-7, 6-3, 4-1.
“It’s tough to play someone who has been injured, been injured on the court,” Svitolina said. “It was tough for her.
“It’s still kind of not realizing that I’m in the final. It’s the very, very last match of the season.
“Definitely tomorrow, I’m going to leave everything on the court and fight just to try to get another trophy here.”
Barty also needed to fight from a set deficit in her 4-6, 6-2, 6-3 win over Karolina Pliskova.
“It’s been an incredible year for myself and my team – it’s the perfect way to cap it off,” said Barty. “Knowing you’ve played the best of the best during the week, now you have the opportunity to play for a title, it’s really special.”
Svitolina, though, has won all five against the Australian.
“I have an opportunity to go out in the match and try something because previously what we’ve done hasn’t quite worked or I haven’t executed well enough over a long enough period to be effective. It’s a match I’m looking forward to.”
The only other Australian to capture the year-end event was Evonne Goolagong Cawley in 1974 and 1976.
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