SEOUL (AFP) – Polish top seed Agnieszka Radwanska will face Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova in Sunday's final of the Korea Open after the Russian squeezed past Francesca Schiavone in a thriller.
While Radwanska took just over an hour to thrash Spain's Lara Arruabarrena 6-0, 6-2, Pavlyuchenkova needed nearly two-and-a-half hours to see off Schiavone.
In a match that could have gone either way and saw only two breaks in 24 service games, the Russian third seed dug deep against the spirited Italian to win 7-6 (13/11), 7-6 (8/6).
She had to save three set points in the first set tie-break and battled back from 3-0 down in the second set breaker to close it out.
"I'm so tired right now, to be honest," Pavlyuchenkova said.
"I'm happy to be in the finals, but I'm still thinking about the match, how tough it was.
"The first set was amazing. We were both playing good tennis, but I was so tired afterwards and I knew I had to hold serve in the second set, because if I didn't, it would just be over," she said.
Radwanska hardly seemed to break sweat as her powerful service overwhelmed Arruabarrena from the start.
"It was really hot out there but I played at 100 percent throughout the match," said Radwanska, who finished in style winning 15 consecutive points.
Radwanska leads Pavlyuchenkova 2-1 in their head-to-head meetings, although only one of those came in the last four years -- a tight clash in Radwanska's favour at the US Open a few weeks ago.
"I have to be aggressive but also consistent," Pavlyuchenkova said. "We just played at the US Open and she's very consistent, she never misses, and if I make a lot of mistakes it'll be an easy victory for her."