Maria Sakkari held her nerve in a dramatic match against top seed Aryna Sabalenka to win through in three sets and reach the last four of the WTA Finals.
The fourth seed from Greece claimed a crucial 7-6(1) 6-7(6) 6-3 victory to seal her progress in Guadalajara, Mexico on what was the final day of the initial round-robin at the event.
Sakkari's victory took her to 2-1 in the Chichen Itza group, behind Paula Badosa, while Sabalenka slipped to 1-2 as a result of the defeat and missed out on reaching the semi-finals.
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After flying through the opening set tie-break in breathtaking fashion, losing just a solitary point in the process, the 26-year-old lost the second 8-6 as Sabalenka roared back.
But Sakkari had too much for the world number two as she took the third set 6-3 in front of a boisterous crowd, and she was overjoyed at her victory and progress.
"Obviously my season is not finished yet, but this tournament has been very successful after today's win," Sakkari said after the match.
I'm just very, very happy that I still show good emotions on court, I still play with my heart even though it's been 11 months since we started this season. I'm just going to enjoy tomorrow's match.
"I think that it was my first night match and that played a huge role in my game of how the ball really felt. I only practised once before the tournament at night, so it was kind of new for me.
"I don't know, it was weird because Aryna, she's very long, she's very tall, it's tough to get serves through her. Once I got a pattern that worked well, I just kept doing what I felt was working. I just went for it."
Sakkari will next take on Teotihuacan group winner Anett Kontaveit in the semi-finals, something she says she predicted pre-tournament.
"I told her in Moscow that I'm going to see her here. I'm very glad that she's here because she's a very nice person and she deserves it," Sakkari said.
"But it all comes down to obviously who plays a better match. I'm going to fight for it, do whatever I can to advance to the final. I just really want to enjoy tomorrow's match because the atmosphere here is just unreal.
"I'm not going to have so much time to rest. My fitness level is, I believe, one of the best on tour, without being arrogant, but I believe fitness is one of my strengths. I'll do everything to recover.
"If Anett is better tomorrow, it's too good. But I'll try to recover and just take advantage of the good things I felt today on the court."

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