Amanda Anisimova and Hsieh Su-Wei have played once before, in the first round of the Honolulu 125K last November. The American won that encounter 6-0, 6-1 for her second Top 100 victory; she has since racked up a further ten.
At 17 years old, Anisimova is the youngest WTA finalist since Donna Vekic, who was runner-up at Birmingham 2013 at 16 years and 11 months old, and at Tashkent 2012 at 16 years and two months old.
Hsieh will compete in her third career final and first in nearly six years; the 32-year-old has a perfect record in title rounds, having won in both Kuala Lumpur and Guangzhou in 2012.
Anisimova is the second qualifier to reach a final in 2018 following Aliaksandra Sasnovich in Brisbane. Olga Danilovic also reached the Moscow River Cup final (and took the title) as a lucky loser.
As the World No.134, Anisimova is the ninth player ranked outside the Top 100 to reach a WTA final in 2018, and is the sixth-lowest ranked of them. The others are Mandy Minella (No.226 in Gstaad), Anastasia Potapova (No.204 in Moscow), Olga Danilovic (No.187 in Moscow), Stefanie Voegele (No.183 in Acapulco), Serena Williams (No.181 at Wimbledon), Anna Karolina Schmiedlova (No.132 in Bogotá), Pauline Parmentier (No.122 in Istanbul) and Zheng Saisai (No.112 in Nanchang).
Anisimova is the third player born in 2001 to reach a WTA final following Danilovic and Potapova in Moscow, and takes over from Potapova as the youngest player to have reached a final. Anisimova will also become the first player born in that year to crack the Top 100 next week, regardless of the final result.
Victory in the final would return Hsieh to the Top 30 for the first time since February 2013. The Chinese Taipei No.1 has extended her 2018 win-loss record to 33-19 with her run in Hiroshima so far.
ORDER OF PLAY
CENTRE COURT (starts 1pm)
[Q] Amanda ANISIMOVA (USA) vs HSIEH Su-Wei (TPE) 
Miyu KATO (JPN) / Makoto NINOMIYA (JPN)  vs Eri HOZUMI (JPN) / ZHANG Shuai (CHN)