The hard-hitting Pliskova started red hot in what loomed as a one-sided contest before Stephens fought back with relentless hustle as the Czech went off the boil.
She said: "I think I have nothing to prove anymore to anyone". With the Dutchwoman threatening to break back, it was Svitolina's determination and ability to track down every ball that forced Bertens to go aim for the line as she just missed. Tried something a little different. Even though she still struggled on serve, Svitolina attacked on return and broke twice to wear down a suddenly passive Stephens.
"I think I'm capable of doing that".
The 26-year-old recovered in a tense tiebreak to force a decider and the twists continued in a pulsating third set.
It was an unexpected result after Pliskova's early domination through power and precision to blitz through the first set in 31 minutes.
The third set began with three breaks, two of which wrote itself into an asset Svitolina.
Stephens showed spirit in holding to love to end the slide and then earned three break points, taking the second to close the gap to 3-2.
The Ukrainian who said she was training for the second-tier Year-End Championships in Zhuhai has done brilliantly this week as she has gone unbeaten and will face Sloane Stephens for the title tomorrow.
Svitolina could rise three spots to world number four on the rankings after capturing her fourth title of the year.
And in the twelfth Game of Svitolina on the pitch Bertens won the set.
"After the US Open past year, everyone was, like, 'Oh, she's a one-hit wonder, she'll never do anything again, it was just lucky, no one was playing, blah, blah, blah, '...this season I was like 'I really want to play a little more consistent, I want to have some better results in the bigger tournaments and just do better to show that I'm a Top 10 or top-whatever player. I was making a lot of shots in the court, but she was just reading everything that I was putting back", Stephens added. Do not let the fact that she is one of the most well-liked players on the tour fool you.
In another testing point, it was Svitolina who came out on top after her forehand found the corner with Bertens just only able to get her racquet on it and sent it long.
Bertens regrouped and was on the brink of levelling it up at 40-0 in the 10th game but cracked under the pressure.