Elina Svitolina on Sunday had to rally from a set deficit to defeat Sloane Stephens of the U.S. 3-6, 6-2, 6-2 and become the first Ukrainian player to win the season-ending Women's Tennis Association (WTA) finals title.
As WTA Singapore tournament is over, the victor Elina Svitolina shared her impressions with the press. "The third set really showed that I was mentally tough".
Svitolina was on a mission to silence the "haters" this week and she should have won plenty of new admirers after taking on all comers to claim the biggest title of her career.
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Svitolina's form nosedived in the second half of the year and after sneaking into the eight-woman field courtesy of three early-season titles, the world number seven sensed her presence had been regarded as undeserved in some quarters.
"Whether people want to believe it or not, they want to say, "Oh, you didn't do this, you didn't do that", but like I said before, it only matters how you feel and how you think you have done".
"It's a very special moment for me, I played great tennis this week", Svitolina said after the match. "That's what made the difference". The American led the way in the first game, but Svitolina got her act together and fought back, winning the remainder of the match. I can be really proud, I can be happy.
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Svitolina held serve in the first game of the decider and took her second break point to go 2-0 up and - when the 24-year-old held serve to take her winning run of games to six with a forehand, which Stephens unsuccessfully challenged - it looked a long way back for the American. "Even though my results were not good since Wimbledon, I had four or five weeks where I was on court and in the gym working the day after a loss", she added.
"These past five months, there have been lots of work that I was putting in".
"I feel a little bit of disappointment and sad, obviously. I was able to play well and to compete".
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