Elina Svitolina & Ashleigh Barty set up $4.75mn Shenzhen showdown in WTA Finals

5dbda76f85f5405cae0a5b34 Elina Svitolina & Ashleigh Barty set up $4.75mn Shenzhen showdown in WTA Finals

Australian tennis ace Ashleigh Barty will face Elina Svitolina of Ukraine in the final of the season-ending WTA Finals in China after both players came through three-set semi-final thrillers on Saturday.

World number one Barty took a hard-fought victory over Czech opponent Karolina Pliskova to reach her maiden WTA Finals showpiece.

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The 23-year-old Australian dropped the opening set 4-6, but took control in the next two sets to seal a well-deserved victory 4-6, 6-2, 6-3.

In the final she will face Svitolina, who came past Belinda Bencic in their semi-final after the Swiss star was forced to retire injured due to cramp in her upper right leg while trailing 1-4 in the deciding set.

The match ended 7-5, 3-6 4-1 in favor of Svitolina, who is just one step away from defending the title she claimed last year.

Barty has had a sensational season, winning the Roland Garros singles title in June. She also added the Miami Open and Birmingham Nature Valley Classic titles to her name, becoming the first Australian woman to be world number one since 1976.

Svitolina has not been as solid this season, so far going without a title and losing all five semi-finals she took part in, including her maiden US Open last four clash against Serena Williams.

However, the Ukrainian has a superb head-to-head advantage over her Australian rival, winning all five matches against Barty.

The champion of the season-ending event will be crowned on Sunday in Shenzhen. The winner will pocket a cool US$4.75 million.

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