TORONTO, Canada - No.5 seed Elina Svitolina won her WTA-leading fifth title of 2017 on Sunday, knocking out former WTA World No.1 Caroline Wozniacki, 6-4, 6-0, to win the Rogers Cup.
"I need some time still to really realize, because I had so many matches for the last two days and it's been really, really tough physically," the Ukrainian said after the match. "Today was very hot, so I've been really struggling. I'm just very happy that it's finished - and with a title, it's even more special."
Svitolina won the last eight games of the match from 4-4 in the first set to raise her third Premier 5 trophy of the season, and fifth overall.
The Ukrainian becomes the first player to ever win three Premier 5 titles in a season after the tier of events was introduced in 2009. She previously raised the trophies in Dubai and Rome, to go along with International-level titles in Taipei and Istanbul.
As it happened: Svitolina seals Rogers Cup title
In a first set that was decided by just one break of serve in the end, Svitolina twice moved ahead a break, but was pegged back level by Wozniacki in her next service game.
The Ukrainian dropped serve from 30-0 up in the eighth game, but rebounded with a love break of the Wozniacki serve and served out the set in the 10th game on her second opportunity.
Both players struck seven winners in the opening set, but it was Svitolina who kept her errors under controls in the crucial moments, hitting 10 to Wozniacki's 12.
"I was very, very tired after the first game of first set, and I knew that I need to give everything because Caroline doesn't miss much. You have to work really hard to get unforced error from her," Svitolina said. "I just decided I'm going to just play every ball and just leave everything on court.
"That's why, emotionally I was relieved when I won the first set, and then was playing better and better in the second. I really couldn't believe that it all finished and I'm holding the trophy."
Svitolina nabbed her fourth break of the match in the opening game of the second set, which went to deuce, as her momenum carried her through in a decisive second set.
Wozniacki had just one opportunity to break in the fourth game of the set - when she took Svitolina to deuce on return for the only time in the set - but the Ukrainian found a way through her toughts hold of the day, and served out the match on her third match point.
The victory for Svitolina was her second over Wozniacki in a final this season, as she also defeated the Dane, 6-4, 6-2, to win the final in Dubai.
"Today, I was going to into the match and I was thinking, 'Okay, this is not the final.' Just try to think that this is a quarterfinal, because we could play with Caroline [in a] quarterfinal, semifinal," Svitolina said. "The one we played in Dubai I was under big pressure. It was the first time that I was entering top 10. That win was just amazing...but I got the experience from that match because she's very tough player.
"You need to have a clear mind and clear plan what you do on court, so I learned little bit more from that match and it really definitely helped me today to manage my nerves and be calm on the important moments."
A former Rogers Cup champion when it was held in Montreal, Wozniacki fell to 0-6 in WTA finals this season, and has not won a set in any of those finals.
"It was a tough day. She played well. She mixed up the pace and made it uncomfortable for me out there," said Wozniacki in defeat. "Today, probably I could have used some more pace, but she played really smart today and used my pace to her advantage.
"I wasn't really expecting much out of myself when I came into the tournament. Obviously I haven't won a match [in Toronto] before, but it was a good week and I beat some great players, and I can really take a lot with me and be proud of that."
This article was first seen on www.wtatennis.com.