Sloane Stephens Takes Advantage of Karolina Pliskova’s Lack of Ruthlessness to Book Final Spot in Singapore

Sloane Stephens completed an amazing comeback against Karolina Pliskova, 0-6 6-4 6-1, booking her WTA Finals final spot against Elina Svitolina. This result sends out a big message ahead of the Fed Cup final. Whereby, the USA try to defend their title against the Czech Republic. Had Pliskova shown ruthlessness against Kerber in the 2016 US Open, then she’d be a Slam winner by now. Unfortunately, there are signs that ruthlessness is still a focus area, as she let Stephens back into the match and paid the ultimate consequences.

Karolina Pliskova Takes the Ball Early and Takes Control in the First Set

New coach Rennae Stubbs has instilled a positivity into Pliskova that has been absent for the bulk of the season. 0 aces and a 54% first serve percentage doesn’t usual result in a bagel in your favour, but it does for Pliskova. She bosses the rallies from get-go and punishes the Stephens lethargy.

Stephens Shows Some Fight 2nd Set

It took until the 9th game for Sloan Stephens to notch up her first game, and with it a break of serve.

Kamu Murray, Stephens’ coach looked unfazed at the one-sided nature of this semifinal.

“Commit, Commit.“

This is what Murray implored his charge today. No sooner than he says that, the 2nd set leaderboard shows Stephens a break and 4-3 up. Unforced errors increased from both players and the set began to play to Stephens’ strengths. Body serving helped Stephens address the serve breaking rhythm of the set. An 83% – 47% first serve percentage in Stephens’ favour underlines the momentum shift. This allowed Stephens to take match into a final set.

A Tense Third Set

Three consecutive service breaks ore out the tension. Sloane Stephens collects her nerve to hold in the fourth games and momentum swings towards her. Stephens grabs the momentum and runs away with the match, dropping only one game in the final set.

Stephens Takes on Elina Svitolina as Both Players Stay Unbeaten

Ukrainian, Elina Svitolina is also unbeaten player at the WTA Finals. She is finding her form under new, temporary coach Nick Saviano. Stephens leads the head-to-head 2-1, incorporating a title this season in Charleston.

The next match will be different. There is a lot more at stake.


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