NEW YORK: Unseeded Australian Daria Gavrilova toppled defending champion Agnieszka Radwanska 6-4, 6-4 on Friday to reach the final of the WTA hardcourt tournament at New Haven, Connecticut.
"I trusted my game plan and I think I executed it very well," Gavrilova, ranked 26th in the world, said after her win over the world number 10 and top seed. "I was pretty aggressive and taking chances whenever I could on her second serve."
Gavrilova advanced to the third WTA final of her career. She'll take on second-seeded Slovakian Dominika Cibulkova, a 6-1, 6-3 winner over Belgian qualifier Elise Mertens.
Gavrilova, who is gunning for a first career title in this last tune-up before the US Open starts on Monday, displayed an impressive array of powerful groundstrokes, and kept her nerve to finish it out in an hour and 33 minutes.
After Gavrilova was unable to convert her first match point in the final game, Radwanska earned a break point, but Gavrilova responded with just her second ace of the match. She followed up with a forehand winner, and finished it off with an overhead smash on her second match point.
Gavrilova faces another tough task on Saturday. She lost her only prior meeting with Cibulkova, the world number 11 who needed just 69 minutes to subdue 47th-ranked Mertens.
The Slovakian is seeking her ninth career title.