Tennis

$4.75M showdown: Barty and Svitolina to battle for richest prize in tennis

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Ukraine's Svitolina dropped her first set of the tournament on her way to beating Swiss seventh seed Belinda Bencic, who had to retire when trailing 4-1 in the deciding set.Australia's Barty later saw off Karolina Pliskova of the Czech Republic 4-6 6-2 6-3 to reach the title match and a chance to bag the massive prizes on offer for the winner in Sunday's final.She can pocket $4,420 million, with Svitolina the maximum purse of $4,725 million after winning all her three round robin matches ahead of the knockout phase."I've got nothing to lose. I get to come out and enjoy and try to end my regular season really well. It's an opportunity against a really tough player," said Barty.Svitlona will also look on the final as a bonus after failing to win a title since her triumph in the tournament in Singapore last year and having to overcome a series of injury setbacks.However, semifinal appearances at Wimbledon and the US Open helped boost her ranking and she claimed the eighth and final spot for the finals, taking full advantage with dominant performances in Shenzhen.

Injury toll mounts

The unfortunate Bencic joined the list of walking wounded at the lucrative season-ending finale, receiving treatment for a right leg injury even before breaking Svitolina in the 12th game to take the opener 7-5.READ: Svitolina advances as injured Andreescu forced outREAD: Barty into last four as dream season continuesClearly troubled, Bencic tried to shorten the rallies, but the counter punching skills of Svitolina saw her level at one set all. She then pulled clear in the decider before the retirement."It's very tough for her," Svitolina admitted. Bencic could not hide her disappointment: "I really didn't want to retire. I tried. Sometimes, I just tried to make a good serve, play no rallies. It just wasn't enough," she said."I wanted to finish the match. It was not possible. I'm really disappointed about how my body failed me."Bencic was the third player forced to retire mid-match in the tournament following the withdrawals of Kiki Bertens and US Open champion Bianca Andreescu. Japanese star Naomi Osaka withdrew fRead More – Source