Sloane Stephens completed the semi-final line-up at the WTA Finals after her 6-3 6-3 win over Angelique Kerber to top the Red Group. Her straight sets victory over the German in Singapore means the top four seeds all fell in the round-robin stages with Stephens facing Pliskova next after the Czech finished second in the White Group.
“Me, Svitolina, Bertens, and Karolina, I think we have all had great seasons and had some really great results,” said the French Open finalist.
“I think that obviously the top four have, too, but I think at the end, like when we were all battling towards the end of the year, everyone pretty much counted us out, because they were, like, ‘Oh, they are barely going to qualify or barely get in.'”
The fifth-seeded American hit 25 winners in her 100-minute victory over Kerber, who hit 38 unforced errors and went only two-for-ten on break points, including zero-for-seven to start the match.
“Playing Angie is always tough for me,” Stephens told the media her post-match press conference.
“She’s No. 2 player in the world. She’s a tough match. Obviously coming here and playing against the top players in the world, nothing is going to be easy.”
“I just prepared. Obviously a lot on the line today, trying to make the semis and trying to get through. I just tried to do my best and battled as hard as I could and stick to my game plan.”