Defending champion, Katerina Siniakova will do battle with world no. 1 Simona Halep in the final of the Shenzhen Open after taking out Maria Sharapova on Friday.
Czech’s Siniakova held her nerve to beat former world no. 1 Maria Sharapova 6-2 3-6 6-3 in what was a gruelling encounter.
Sharapova battled for almost two hours against the defending champion but the challenge proved to be too strong for the Russiab, who is still trying to hit her stride since returning from the doping ban.
In the other semis match played earlier, world no. 1, Simona Halep beat fellow Romanian Irina-Camelia Begu 6-1, 6-4 to reach the final in the Southern city of China.
Halep needed just 89 minutes to seal a second career final at Shenzhen.
“It was a tough match,” Halep said in a courtside interview. “I know she is a strong player and in the second set you could see she was improving her game so it was a tougher battle.
“I think I was strong enough to stay there and hit the ball stronger in the end because the energy was falling a little bit. I came back, I served pretty well in the last game and I’m pretty proud of my victory today, it was a tough one.”