Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark arrives for the singles draw ceremony of the WTA Tennis Finals in Singapore October 19, 2018.
Pliskova, who now leads the tour with 48 wins this season, saved all 10 break points she faced in the match, including two when serving for the match in the final game. I'd say this year is just a little bit more emotional because of the amount of tennis I had to play.
Svitolina failed to serve out the match at 5-2 in the third set but converted her third match point in the next game with a forehand victor.
"That was kind of disappointing, and I think obviously if I had gotten some of them, the outcome could have been different".
On her performance, Wozniacki added: "I'm just pleased how I kept cool out there".
"I have a few things to work on, but there are still some positives to take with me".
The Ukrainian Svitolina, who beat Kvitova in her opening match, takes on big-serving Czech Pliskova in Tuesday's second match with the victor nearly virtually assured of advancing to the last four.
"But it wasn't to be today".
Svitolina is making her second appearance at the season-ending tournament, and appeared focused and determined to make amends for a lacklustre display a year ago when she crashed out of the tournament in the round robin phase.
Both players contributed to this high-quality affair and ended up with positive victor to unforced error ratio, with Wozniacki firing 20 winners to just 17 unforced errors while Pliskova found 22 winners to 21 unforced errors. But after they traded breaks as the intensity levels picked up, Wozniacki broke again to seal the opener when Kvitova blasted a forehand into the net.
Wozniacki rode the momentum from winning last year's WTA Finals into the start of 2018, capturing a long-awaited maiden major title at the Australian Open, and ended the regular season on a high note with a second China Open crown to head into Singapore as the second seed.
"Definitely now I want to take this win as one for all those haters who were saying, you know, that I don't deserve to be here and I'm not good".
"All the best players are here so there's no easy matches", noted Wozniacki.
Kvitova, meanwhile, remained upbeat despite her loss, as she has two more matches in the round-robin stage to revive her hopes of advancing to the semi-finals. "But I think you just play and try to win and whatever happens, happens".
"Life makes me happy".
"I always believe in myself and when I'm out on the court I believe I'm going to win".