That year she became one of only four players to win the title on first attempt (also Serena Williams in 2001, Sharapova in 2004 and Cibulkova in 2016), and one of the seven to post a flawless round-robin record and go on to win the title Kvitova saved two break points to maintain a 3-2 edge in the opening set.
But the Czech, the only player to have a positive head-to-head record against all three of the player's in her group, overall going 18-6 versus the White Group before the match, struggled to make the difference on serve and off the forehand side.
Australian Open champion Wozniacki, from Denmark, failed to win any of the 10 break points she created.
"I'm just not feeling good", said Svitolina after returning.
Svitolina, making her second appearance at the season-ender, appeared focused and determined to make amends for a lacklustre display a year ago when she exited in the round robin phase. Later, Bertens made the final eight when No. 1-ranked Simona Halep withdrew with a herniated disk in her back.
24hrs curfew imposed on Kaduna metropolis
At least 55 people were confirmed killed in the Kasuwar Magani violence that had a religious undertone. Over 60 people alleged to have been involved in the February crisis are facing charges.
"It's very nice to be back and I'm very happy with the match and very pleased with the performance", said Svitolina, who completed her victory in 88 minutes with four breaks of service.
The one-way traffic continued in the second set with Pliskova breaking immediately, saving three break points in the next game to the frustration of her opponent.
The Ukrainian player briefly left the post-match news conference but later returned.
"I think there were times where I played really well, and I was trying to move her around, but there were also times when I just didn't time the ball perfectly".
"You have to play your best level because everybody is very strong playing here". Svitolina played more consistently than her recent form would have predicted while Kvitova, winning just 4 of 15 second serve points (27%), double-faulted again on set point.
Svitolina said her win was an answer to any suggestions she didn't deserve to play here, having qualified so late for the draw.
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