This time it was the Ukraine's Elina Svitolina's turn for a comeback.
Elina Svitolina won the BNP Paribas WTA Finals with a three-set success over Sloane Stephens in Singapore. "I think I have nothing to prove anymore to anyone", she told the media after the final. I was just trying to get the ball back.
Svitolina was on a mission to silence the "haters" this week and she should have won plenty of new admirers after taking on all comers to claim the biggest title of her career. For years her clay court credentials were never in doubt, with all her seven titles coming on the dirt.
Svitolina has looked on a mission at the WTA Finals in an effort to make amends for a lacklustre early exit past year. Kerber says she plans to take a four-week rest this year like she did last year. after learning from her mistakes in 2016 "2016 was definitely not enough free. I think definitely for the future it's something that I can be proud of".
"It feels wonderful, but there's still lots of work ahead of me tomorrow. I was just happy to close it out", Svitolina said in a post-match interview. "But now I feel a bit more calm".
Before they met in the final, Stephens expressed sympathy for Svitolina.
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"I worked on my mental toughness and that's pretty much what helped me to go through the (Caroline) Wozniacki match and today's match", added Svitolina, who won all three group ties but needed to take a set off the Dane to ensure qualification to the semi-finals.
Halep fans groaned when she fell behind Stephens in the French Open final in June, but she mounted a furious charge to bag her own first Slam.
Stephens, the 2017 U.S. Open champion, let out a huge yell on breaking her Czech opponent's serve in the third game of the second set after trailing 6-0, 2-0.
Yet Stubbs' words failed to have the desired impact and a double fault handed Stephens a commanding 4-1 lead. Svitolina received a 3-6, 6-2, 6-2 in two hours and 23 minutes in the championship match of the WTA Finals. The best result was the semi-finals Andrei Medvedev in 1993.
"After the US Open a year ago, everyone was, like, 'Oh, she's a one-hit wonder, she'll never do anything again, it was just lucky, no one was playing, blah, blah, blah, '...this season I was like 'I really want to play a little more consistent, I want to have some better results in the bigger tournaments and just do better to show that I'm a Top 10 or top-whatever player". I think that made the big difference.