"I think that's a really nice feeling", Bertens said. But like I can go inside myself and be peaceful. I tried to tell her and remind her how far she's come and not to expect too much of herself and I know she's trying really hard. I can win one game, maybe I can win two, then three.' And I just started to feel the ball a little better.
Pliskova was only a point away from a 3-0 lead in the second set.
But Stephens clawed her way back and screamed when Pliskova's forehand went wide to give her a first game after just over 50 minutes of play.
In the final of the tournament the first racket of our country beat the sixth racket of the world ranking American Sloane Stephens- 3:6, 6:2, 6:2.
However Svitolina lost her serve early in the second set to trail 2-0 and it was her turn to save four set points as she rallied from 0-40 down to stay in the set at 5-5.
Bertens played too risky a brand of tennis, posting 41 winners to 12 for Svitolina, but also making 63 to 36 unforced errors.
"Both matches are going to be really tough".
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Svitolina is chasing her fourth title this season, having already won at Brisbane, Dubai and Rome.
U.S. Open champion Osaka took to the court with tape on the back of her leg for a problem that flared up in her defeat to Angelique Kerber on Wednesday and was competitive for half a set before opting to withdraw after Bertens took the opener 6-3.
Bertens, who entered the tournament in place of injured world No1 Simona Halep, took the match to a decider after holding off a Svitolina fightback in the second set tie-break.
The match started tensely, with Kerber unable to convert seven break points in Stephens´ first three service games, and the missed opportunities proved costly.
Next up for Svitolina will be the victor of the other semifinal match between Sloane Stephens of the United States and Karolina Pliskova of the Czech Republic.
Svitolina has looked on a mission at the WTA Finals in an effort to make amends for a lacklustre early exit a year ago.
Everyone was talking about Elina Svitolina as the WTA Finals were about to get underway, but not the way they are now that she won the title with a gritty three-set win on Sunday over Sloane Stephens.