Top seed Agnieszka Radwanska says she'll do everything she can to win the season-opening Auckland Classic tennis tournament at her first attempt.
The Polish top seed put herself in contention to claim her 11th WTA singles crown by downing American outsider Jamie Hampton 7-6 (7-4) 7-6 (7-3) on Friday in tough, windy conditions in Auckland.
She will meet past champion and No.3 seed Yanina Wickmayer of Belgium in the championship decider.
'I've never been in a final in the first tournament of the year and, for sure, I'm going to do everything in my power to win that match,' she said.
'To have a title is a great thing, especially in a tournament I've never played before.'
Against world No.70 Hampton, Radwanska was given her toughest test in a week in which she was yet to drop a set.
But her steadiness proved the key as Hampton, appearing in her first WTA semi-final, hit some impressive winners, but paid for lapses at crucial times.
The American had a chance to serve out the opening set at 6-5, but produced two double faults, the second on set point.
In the second set, she showed great spirit to fight back from 0-4 down.
But having sent the contest into another tiebreak, she struggled with consistent execution as she teed off with her groundstrokes.
Radwanska and fellow 23-year-old Wickmayer have split their two previous meetings.
Radwanska won the second, although that was back in 2011 at the French Open.
World No.23 Wickmayer made it through to her third Auckland final, repelling a big comeback by eighth-seeded German Mona Barthel to win 6-4 1-6 7-6 (7-3).
The 2010 champion and 2011 runner-up, Wickmayer coped better with the wind in the opening set.
However, Barthel suddenly shifted up the gears to hit some blistering winners and reel off six games in a row to take the second.
There were no breaks in the third set and, in the tiebreak, Barthel's serve - which had been so effective with 12 aces - deserted her.
Two consecutive double faults, followed by an unlucky netcord, put her 1-5 down and the deficit proved too big to make up.
Wickmayer had gone into the match with a 2-1 record over Barthel, but had been overwhelmed 6-1 6-2 when the pair met in the Hobart final last January.
'I've played her before and got my ass kicked once, so I knew what to expect,' she said.