After suffering a huge scare and experiencing a slump in the second half of the year which almost took away her chance to compete in Singapore, Elina Svitolina has successfully sealed her spot at the WTA Finals for the second consecutive year. The Ukrainian was facing a huge risk of narrowly missing out on a spot, but her strong start to the year ultimately saved her from the brink.
Terrific first half of 2018 sends Svitolina to Singapore
Svitolina began the year in the best way possible — a title at the Brisbane International where she surged towards the title having defeated two top-10 opponents in the process. She then reached the quarterfinals of the Australian Open but fell to the surprise package in Elise Mertens, but her impressive start to the year did not just end there. The Ukrainian stormed to the title in Dubai, defeating Wang Qiang, Naomi Osaka, Angelique Kerber and Daria Kasatkina to defend her title there.
Ranked comfortably nearing the top of the Porsche Race to Singapore leaderboard then, Svitolina was in the pole position to qualify for Singapore without a hassle. Consecutive quarterfinals in Miami and Stuttgart followed before Svitolina triumphed in Rome yet again. She ousted Kerber, Kasatkina and humbled top-ranked Simona Halep in the final for her third title of the year.
From that point of the year, her season has been rather dull as she experienced a dry spell. She failed to find her groove and struggled with her game, and although she managed to record four more quarterfinal appearances through the remainder of the year, Svitolina only managed to qualify after both Bertens and Pliskova fell in their opening matches in Moscow. Despite so, she kept her place in the top-10 throughout the entire year.
Happy to return to Singapore
Svitolina had previously qualified for the WTA Finals last year, but she went 1-2 on her debut appearance in Singapore. She fell short to Caroline Wozniacki, winning just two games in her first match before losing a huge lead against Caroline Garcia to confirm her elimination. Nonetheless, she closed out her campaign with a terrific win over Halep in straight sets.
Svitolina mentioned in an official statement, "I'm excited to qualify for the WTA Finals for my second time. Making it to Singapore is my goal every year so I'm happy to return and be part of the top eight players of the season." The Ukrainian will be the sixth seed in the tournament after Halep had announced her withdrawal due to a back injury.