Guangzhou, China – Seventh seed Chanelle Scheepers and seeded Magdalena Rybarikova will be the combatants in Saturday's final at the $220,000 Guangzhou International tennis event.
The South African Scheepers, playing in her first-ever WTA-level semifinal, ousted top-seeded Russian Maria Kirilenko 7-5, 5-7, 6-4, while the Slovakian Rybarikova straight-setted Chinese crowd favorite Zheng Jie 7-5, 6-3 on the hardcourts at Tianhe Sports Centre.
Scheepers prevailed on Day 5 despite amassing a whopping 15 double faults against Kirilenko, who fell in a 3-hour, 23-minute marathon.
Kirilenko appeared in her first semifinal of 2011, had yet to drop a set this week, and was hoping to end a three-year title drought.
The 27-year-old Scheepers will perform in her first-ever WTA final, while the 22-year-old Rybarikova will compete in her third. The Slovakian captured her second career title in Memphis earlier this year. Rybarikova's first career title came in Birmingham in 2009, and she beat Scheepers in the round of 32 at that particular event.
The 2011 Guangzhou champion will collect $37,000.