Ashleigh Barty comes from behind to beat Karolina Pliskova at WTA Finals

Ashleigh Barty comes from behind to beat Karolina Pliskova at WTA Finals
Ashleigh Barty, file photo

Top seed Ashleigh Barty recovered from a set down to beat Karolina Pliskova and book her place in the final of the WTA Finals in Shenzhen.

Barty overcame second seed Pliskova 4-6 6-2 6-3 in one hour and 53 minutes to set up a final date with Elina Svitolina on Sunday.

The Australian had a patchy start, with Pliskova forcing seven break points in her first three service games.

Pliskova was able to close out the first set after wasting several opportunities.

But Barty – in the first meeting of the two highest-ranked players in the world since Caroline Wozniacki beat Simona Halep in the 2018 Australian Open final – dominated from that point to extend her lead to 4-2 in their rivalry.

Svitolina, the number eight seed, was 4-1 ahead in the final set when Belinda Bencic retired due to cramping.

The Ukrainian broke at the start of the second set and never again trailed from that point to win 5-7 6-3 4-1 .

“It’s tough to play someone who has been injured, been injured on the court,” Svitolina told wtatennis.com.

Bencic first gave cause for concern when she received a medical timeout while leading 6-5 in the opening set.

“I started cramping in my foot and again in my hamstring,” Bencic said.

“I really didn’t want to retire. I tried. Sometimes, I just tried to make a good serve, play no rallies. It just wasn’t enough.

“I wanted to finish the match. It was not possible. I’m really disappointed about how my body failed me.”

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