Switzerland's Patty Schnyder has reached the ninth final of her career at the Austrian WTA event in Vienna. On Saturday, she defeated Croatia's Jelena Kostanic in three sets, 6-4, 6-7, 6-4.
Eighth seed Schnyder had to fight hard to beat her opponent, who unexpectedly defeated Yugoslavia's Jelena Dokic on Thursday.
"I could have finished the match in the second set, but it was a real struggle", Schnyder said. "I'm just glad I won", she added.
Schnyder was set to take the match in the second set, when the 22-year-old Kostanic defended two match balls to draw even.
Kostanic then took a 4-3 lead in the final set, but failed to win any of the ensuing games.
Weather conditions were tough on both players, with temperatures reaching 40°C. The two opponents were given a 10-minute break before entering the third set.
"Three hours on clay is rather tough, and it was very hot for the first one and a half hours", the 22-year-old Basel player said.
Schnyder, ranked 33, will face either Uzbekistan's Iroda Tulyaganova or the Argentinian fifth seed Paola Suarez in the final of the $170,000 tournament on Sunday.
The Vienna tournament has this year replaced the WTA event in Klagenfurt, at which the Swiss number two reached the final 12 months ago. She was finally defeated by home favourite, Barbara Schett.
swissinfo with agencies