Victoria Azarenka used her superior serving and punishing groundstrokes to upset top seed Angelique Kerber 6-4 4-6 6-1 and advance to Sunday’s final of the Monterrey Open against Garbine Muguruza.
In a battle of former world number ones the momentum shifted in the Belarusian’s favour early in the third set when Kerber committed two double faults in a careless service game to hand Azarenka a 2-0 lead.
Azarenka seized the opportunity, consolidating the break in the next game before cruising to the finish line to reach her first final in more than three years.
Earlier, second seed Muguruza eased past Slovak Magdalena Rybarikova 6-2 6-3 to book her ticket to the final.
Azarenka came out the victor in her only previous meeting with Spaniard Muguruza, a hard-fought 7-6(6) 7-6(4) win on the hard courts in Miami in 2016.