ACAPULCO, Mexico - For Stefanie Voegele, the ninth time proved lucky.
The former World No.42, now ranked World No.183, defeated Sweden's Rebecca Peterson 6-4, 7-6(5) to reach her first career WTA final at the Abierto Mexicano TELCEL presentado por HSBC on Friday night, with the victory breaking an 0-8 spell in tour-level semifinals.
"It was a tough match for me, but I'm very happy that I won and I'm looking forward to play again here tomorrow," Voegele said after the match.
Playing in her first WTA semifinal in nearly two years, Voegele got off on the right foot nearly straight away by breaking the Swedish qualifier to love in the third game of the match.
Though the 22-year-old showed some of the form that took her to wins over Alizé Cornet and No.4 seed Zhang Shuai, among others, this week to immediately get back on serve, Voegele outsteadied her younger foe to another break in the fifth game.
This time, that stood up as the decisive margin, as the Swiss No.5 grew incresingly dominant on serve as the match wore on. Though she served at just 56% for the first set, Voegele dropped just three points behind her first delivery, and lost only one point on serve in the last two games.
The two players managed to create just one break point opportunity between them in the second set - which Peterson duly saved at 1-1 - as just four of the 12 games went to deuce.
The Swede forced Voegele to serve to stay in the set twice, as precise hitting off the ground saw her rack up winners over the course of the set.
Though Peterson found herself two points away from forcing a decider twice, Voegele stood tall in the clutch moments and sent the second set to a tiebreak after toughing out a hold from deuce in which she led 40-0.
The Swiss twice led by a mini-break to begin, as six of the first nine points of the breaker went against serve.
It looked as though the Swede was going to force a decider as she built a 5-3 lead behind three points in a row, but Voegele would not be denied her spot in her first career final as she earned the last four points herself.
Voegele will face off against No.7 seed and defending champion Lesia Tsurenko in Saturday's championship match. The Swiss trails in the head-to-head against the Ukrainian No.2, 4-1, but won their last meeting in 2016.
Added the Swiss: "It will be a tough match tomorrow, but I'm looking forward to it."