INDIAN WELLS, CA, USA - Top seed Wang Qiang's run at the Oracle Challenger Series event in Indian Wells came to an end on Saturday at the hands of No.14 seed Viktorija Golubic, 7-5, 6-1.
The victory over World No.18 Wang is Golubic's first Top 20 victory of 2019, third of her career, and first since she defeated then-World No.6 Garbiñe Muguruza via a third-set retirement at the Upper Austria Ladies' Linz in 2016.
The former World No.51 will square off another resurgent woman in Jennifer Brady in the final, after the American defeated Kazakhstan's Zarina Diyas in the other semifinal, 6-3, 6-3.
The No.14 seed entered this week just outside the world's Top 100 at World No.103, but has now scored two wins over players ranked ahead of her this week after also upsetting No.6 seed Sara Sorribes Tormo in the quarterfinals.
Golubic rallied from an early break down in a tightly-contested first set that lasted over an hour, and despite seeing Wang hold serve in a titanic, 12-deuce eighth game where she held nine break points, she eventually wrapped up the set on her 12th break point opportunity as Wang served to force a tiebreak.
The 26-year-old Swiss took an early lead in the second set and never looked back, breaking Wang in her first service game and adding insurance with a love break in the sixth game to cruise through to the final.
In the first semifinal, unseeded Brady lost serve just once against the No.11 seed Diyas, winning four of the last five games in the opener and the last four games of the match to reach her first WTA 125 final.