Samantha Stosur can claim her first WTA Tour title since her breakthrough 2011 US Open success when she meets former world No.1 Caroline Wozniacki in the final of the Kremlin Cup in Moscow.
The 28-year-old Australian was anything but convincing early as she struggled past another ex-No.1, Ana Ivanovic, 2-6 6-3 6-2 in their semi-final on Saturday.
But Wozniacki too made hard work of her semi before edging unseeded Swede Sofia Arvidsson, 6-3 6-7 (7-4) 6-4 in a two-hour 34-minute marathon.
Top-seed Stosur had her usually formidable serve broken three times in the first set but a more aggressive approach yielded dividends as she found her range to win nine of the last 11 games.
“Even though I didn’t win the first set, I thought I could win,” said Stosur.
The 28-year-old Queenslander is into her 15th WTA final, having gone 3-11 in them so far.
But she enjoys a 3-2 head to head record over Wozniacki, winning the last two and triumphed 6-4 6-3 in their latest meeting at the 2010 Tour Championships.
Neither player made the elite eight-woman field for the WTA Tour Championships this year, though world No.9 Stosur went close.
The 22-year-old Wozniacki is currently ranked 11th.
“This is one of those surfaces you really have to get used to,” Stosur said.
“Not every shot is going to feel perfect and you can’t get that quick winner out there, so against someone like Caroline it’s going to be hard because she’s so consistent and gets a lot of balls back.
“I have to be prepared to stay in the point and wait until I get the one I want – I’ll just have to be ready for the next ball.”