DUBAI: Unseeded Daria Kasatkina upset Wimbledon champion Garbine Muguruza 3-6, 7-6 (13-11), 6-1 on Friday after a dramatic fightback in their semi-final at the Dubai Championships.
After dropping the opening set and falling a break behind in the second, the 20-year-old Russian turned the tables, leaving the world number three gasping and completely out of the deciding set.
Kasatkina saved nine of 12 break points and broke Muguruza five times in a thriller lasting for more than two and a half hours.
In the second set the unseeded Kasatkina saved three Muguruza match points before coming good on her fourth set point.
In the third, Kasatkina, ranked 24th and winner of the Charleston title last spring, rode her rising momentum as the fight drained out of Muguruza.
Muguruza had been aiming to become only the fifth player to reach both Doha (last weekend) and Dubai finals in the same season.
Kasatkina will face either holder Elina Svitolina, the top seed, or Germany's former number one Angelique Kerber.