ROME -- Wimbledon champion Elena Rybakina advanced to her third WTA 1000 final of the season after defeating 20th seed Jelena Ostapenko 6-2, 6-4 in the semifinals of the Internazionali BNL d'Italia. Rybakina rallied from a 4-1 deficit in the second set to seal the victory after 1 hour and 33 minutes. 

Rybakina will face Ukraine's Anhelina Kalinina in Saturday night's final. 

Kalinina beats Kudermetova to make first WTA 1000 final 

With a title in Indian Wells and runner-up finishes at the Australian Open and Miami, Rybakina has secured a Top 5 debut by virtue of her progress in Rome. She now has a chance to secure a Top 4 seeding at Roland Garros if she wins her second WTA 1000 title of the year on Saturday. 

Tale of the tape: Rybakina came into Friday's match trailing the head-to-head 2-1 to Ostapenko. The Latvian won the first two meetings in 2019 Linz and 2021 Eastbourne. Rybakina won their last meeting in January, on the hard courts at the Australian Open. Having now won their first meeting on clay, Rybakina leveled their head-to-head to 2-2. 

How the match was won: Rybakina came out of the blocks quickly, building a 4-1 lead after breaking Ostapenko twice. The Hologic WTA Tour's ace leader kept control of her service games to seal the opening set with her fifth ace of the match after 43 minutes. 

But Ostapenko rebounded quickly in the early stages of the second set. Playing in her first semifinal in her eighth Rome appearance, Ostapenko powered down a forehand return winner to break for the first time to 2-0. As rain began to fall more heavily, she saved a break point to extend her lead to 4-1.

"I didn't start that well the second set," Rybakina said. "A bit low in energy, lost my serve. So it was difficult. Then a few good shots from her, good serves. It changed very quick.

"The same time, I knew it's only one break and I just need to be focused and fight for every ball because you never know, either you get the winner or it's going to be some mistake."

Turning point: After a short suspension of play due to rain, Ostapenko fell behind on her serve at 4-2, 15-40 before a lengthier rain delay was put into effect. When play resumed, Ostapenko won just four points for the remainder of the match as Rybakina sealed her comeback from 4-1 down.

How rain changed Rybakina's fortunes in Rome: "I came without any expectation because I knew the other years were really tough for me coming and play here," Rybakina said. "Maybe for some people, rain is not good. I guess for my allergies it went the other way. It's helping me a bit to feel better here.

"I'm just happy that I got so many matches now before French Open."

Up next: Rybakina and Kalinina have played just once, with the Ukrainian prevailing in three sets in Charleston last year. Kalinina edged out Rybakina 4-6, 6-2, 6-4.

"Actually she used to work with my coach," Rybakina said when asked about facing Kalinina. "We just have a good relationship. I'm always cheering for her also. Same, whenever I win, she's always supporting. We have a good relationship.

"I'm happy that we're going to play a final."