Barty comeback sets up WTA decider against Svitolina

The French Open champion prevailed 4-6, 6-2, 6-3 in one hour and 53 minutes in a matchup of the top two ranked players in the world.

Ashleigh Barty in action.   -  Getty Images

World number one Ashleigh Barty overcame the hitting power of Karolina Pliskova with a comeback victory on Saturday to set up a mouth-watering WTA Finals decider against defending champion Elina Svitolina.

The French Open champion prevailed 4-6, 6-2, 6-3 in one hour and 53 minutes in a matchup of the top two ranked players in the world.

Barty, playing in her WTA Finals debut, will look to cap off a momentous season when she plays Svitolina in Sunday's final.

Ukraine's Svitolina won her 10th straight WTA Finals match with a 5-7, 6-3, 4-1 victory over a hobbled Belinda Bencic in one hour and 50 minutes.

The Swiss struggled with cramping from late in the first set but gamely fought on before retiring hurt.

Barty hoped to end the curse on her against Svitolina, having lost all five previous meetings.

 

“It's a match I can come out here and enjoy,” she said. “I have nothing to lose and I will try to end my regular season really well.”

Pliskova attacked Barty's serve from the get-go but could not convert numerous chances to break before finally succeeding on her eighth attempt in the third game, enough to claim the first set.

Barty, who will finish with the year-end number one ranking, continued to struggle on serve but fought back into the contest through menacing slices and crafty lobs.

She gained a decisive break in the fourth game and her serve improved to take the match into a deciding set. Barty upped her game with deft touch at the net and she gained the crucial break in the sixth game with a forehand winner.

Pliskova could not recover and fell in the semifinals for the third straight time at the lucrative tournament.