To defeat Madison Keys 6-7(6), 6-4, 6-3 on Saturday and move to the Cincinnati Open final, Petra Kvitova overcame a slow start and 10 double faults.
There, she will take on Caroline Garcia, the first qualifier to win a WTA 1000 championship.
Garcia was able to maintain her composure to defeat sixth-seeded Belarusian Aryna Sabalenka 6-2, 4-6, 6-1 in a match that experienced two extended weather delays.
After persevering through qualifying, the resurgent Frenchwoman defeated three players who were ranked in the top 10 in the world: Maria Sakkari (#4), Sabalenka (#7), and Jessica Pegula (8).
On a humid Centre Court, a misfiring Kvitova struggled to get going in the opening game of the day. However, she played some of her greatest tennis when it counted, breaking the American favorite to open the third set and once more to secure a place in Sunday’s championship match.
The 32-year-old Czech will compete in his 40th WTA Tour singles final, but it will be his first in Cincinnati.
When Kvitova double-failed three times, Keys, the 2019 Cincinnati champion, got out to a fast start and was given an early break. The service break allowed Keys to gain a 2-1 lead.
But as the set dragged on to a tiebreak, which Keys won 8-6, Kvitova gradually gained control of her serve and groundstrokes and broke back to tie the score at 3-3.
Having jumped out to a 5-2 lead in the second, Kvitova struggled to hold on as Keys came back to even the score at 5-4.
Kvitova would not waste another opportunity to force a decision by serving for the set a second time.