NANCHANG, China - No. 4 seed Elena Rybakina battled past former champion Peng Shuai in a three-set semifinal at the Jiangxi Open on Saturday, advancing to her second final of the season with a 6-1, 3-6, 6-2 victory.
"It was a tough match, but I'm so happy to be in the final," Rybakina said. "In the second set, I lost a bit of concentration and I did a lot of mistakes, but I'm happy to get through and make it to the final."
The Kazakh will face No. 5 seed Rebecca Peterson of Sweden in Sunday's final, after she eased past Serbia's Nina Stojanovic in the first semifinal, 6-3, 6-1.
Rybakina soared out of the gates to begin the second semifinal, as she opened up a 4-1 lead in under 20 minutes.
Winning the first three games and the last three games of the set, Rybakina broke serve twice, and saved all four break points she faced in the final game before successfully serving out the opener on her first set point.
The Chinese veteran, who brought a 13-0 record in Nanchang into their semifinal encounter, would not go quietly in the second set.
After saving a break point in her first service game, the 33-year-old broke Rybakina for the first time in the match and rode the advantage through to a final set.
However, Rybakina restored order for herself in the final set, and won the last four games of the match to seal victory in one hour and 53 minutes.
Peng had one chance to break serve to take the lead at 1-1, and another to get the set back on serve in the seventh game, but could not convert on either chance as Rybakina sealed victory with her fourth service break of the match, and first to love.
The 20-year-old, the champion on clay at the BRD Bucharest Open in June, will look to win her second title of the season against Peterson, whom she's never faced before, on Sunday.
"I'm going to watch her matches a bit and talk with my coach about tactics," she said. "It's like our routine every day, always the same."