Anna Kalinskaya booked a spot in her second final of the year with a 6-1, 6-7(3), 6-1 victory over former World No.1 Victoria Azarenka in the ecotrans Ladies Open semifinals in Berlin on Saturday.

Kalinskaya will face No.5 Jessica Pegula on Sunday. The second semifinal between No.1 seed Coco Gauff and No.4 seed Jessica Pegula was suspended overnight due to rain, with Pegula leading 7-5, 6-6(3-1). On Sunday's resumption, Pegula won four of five points to win 7-5, 7-6(2) to advance to her first grass-court final. 

Berlin: Draws | Schedule | Scores

Kalinskaya lost to Pegula in their only previous meeting, in the 2019 Washington D.C. semifinals (Pegula went on to win her first title that week). Kalinskaya is 3-0 against Top 5 players this year.


On the rise: That week at WTA 1000 Dubai was one of Kalinskaya's breakthroughs this year. After defeating Gauff, Kalinskaya stunned No.1 Iga Swiatek to reach the first WTA singles final of her career. Kalinskaya ultimately suffered a narrow loss to Jasmine Paolini in the Dubai final.

Kalinskaya also reached her first Grand Slam quarterfinal at this year's Australian Open. Kalinskaya started this season ranked No.80 but is currently up to No.24.

Kalinskaya brought this surging form into Saturday's semifinal, where she fired nine winners and faced no break points in the opening set. Two-time Australian Open champion Azarenka fought back to lead 4-1 in the second set, but Kalinskaya dragged that set into the tiebreak before Azarenka eked it out.

The winners came roaring back for Kalinskaya in the third set, where she had 14 to Azarenka's three. At 5-1, Azarenka saved three match points from 40-0 to deuce, but Kalinskaya summoned unreturned serves on the next two points to close out victory after 2 hours and 10 minutes.

It was Kalinskaya's second win of the day. Earlier on Saturday, Kalinskaya advanced to the quarterfinals after No.2 seed Aryna Sabalenka retired from their rain-delayed second-round match at 5-1 in the first set due to a shoulder injury.

All-American showdown: Frequent doubles partners Gauff and Pegula hit the court for the second semifinal on Saturday evening, which was also the second match of the day for each of them.

Earlier on Saturday, Pegula wrapped up a two-day quarterfinal win over Katerina Siniakova, while Gauff advanced after Ons Jabeur retired from their quarterfinal due to illness.

In the first set of the all-American semifinal, Pegula earned a crucial break in the first set by firing a backhand winner square on the sideline to lead 6-5. Pegula served out the set in the next game, saving a break point in the process.

Both players brought their best to the second set, fending each other off with superb lobs and passes. Pegula came back from 5-3 down and saved a set point at 6-5, and she moved ahead 3-1 in the tiebreak before rain moved in and ended play for the day.

Pegula proved the sharper player when the match resumed, as the younger American struggled to find immediate rhythm from the baseline.