Top seed Vera Zvonareva extended her tennis-best winning streak to nine with a 5-7, 6-4, 6-4 win over No. 5 seed Ana Ivanovic in the second semifinal of the Mercury Insurance Open in San Diego, California.
Zvonareva has not lost a match since Wimbledon, a run that included a title in Baku in mid-July.
Zvonareva will face No. 3 Agnieszka Radwanska in Sunday's final at 5 p.m. (on ESPN2).
Zvonareva led 5-3 in the first set, but began to misfire on her ground strokes as Ivanovic found her range off both sides to win four straight games and the set.
Ivanovic looked strong for much of the second set as well, but the steadier Zvonareva found her rhythm and was able to eke out just enough more points to take the second set and a 5-1 lead in the third, before Ivanovic fought back with three straight games to extend the set to an eventual 6-4.
This was an impressive week for Ana Ivanovic, especially coming off a dismal first round loss in Stanford to Japan's Ayumi Morita. Ivanovic reeled off straight set wins in her first three matches in San Diego, over Morita, Alberta Brianti, and No. 4 seed Peng Shuai.
The run to these semifinals takes some pressure off Ivanovic in Cincinnati, a slightly larger tournament starting in two weeks at which Ivanovic will be defending points from her 2010 semifinal run. Ivanovic also has the benefit of having no points to defend next week at the Rogers Cup in Toronto, due to her dispute over a wild card into last year's Rogers Cup in Montreal.
Toronto is unlikely to be much of a points haul for Ivanovic, however, due to her first round match she drew against Venus Williams, a rare first round encounter between unseeded Grand Slam champions.
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