By Chrös McDougall | Oct. 28, 2018, 10:46 a.m. (ET)

Sloane Stephens reacts to scoring a point at the WTA Finals on Oct. 28, 2018 in Singapore.

 

Sloane Stephens’ run through the WTA Finals ended with a hard-fought, three-set loss to Ukraine’s Elina Svitolina in the championship match on Sunday in Singapore.

In doing so, Stephens became second American in a row to finish second at the season-ending event, following Venus Williams in 2017. Serena Williams is the last U.S. player to win the WTA Finals, having won three in a row from 2012 to 2014.

Ranked No. 6 in the world, the 25-year-old Stephens qualified for her first WTA Finals this season and was the only American singles player to do so. The top eight players on the tour qualify for the annual event.

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Stephens reached the title match after sweeping the pool play portion of the event, beating Angelique Kerber, Naomi Osaka and Kiki Bertens. Then, in the semifinals on Saturday, Stephens came back from an 0-6 loss in the first set to beat Karolina Pliskova of the Czech Republic 6-4, 6-1 in the final two sets to win the match.

On Sunday, Stephens took the first set against No. 7 Svitolina 6-3 before falling 2-6 in the second. Then, after falling 0-3 in the third set, Stephens tried to battle back but fell 6-2.

Stephens is now 2-2 against Svitolina all time.

The result ended an up-and-down season for Stephens in big events. After winning her first Grand Slam at the 2017 US Open, Stephens reached the final of this year’s French Open but fell in the first round of the Australian Open and Wimbledon. She’s coming of a run to the quarterfinals at this year’s US Open.

Chrös McDougall has covered the Olympic movement for TeamUSA.org since 2009 on behalf of Red Line Editorial, Inc. He is based in Minneapolis-St. Paul.