Osaka, Japan: Former US Open winner Samantha Stosur beat Ukraine`s Elina Svitolina on Saturday to reach the Japan Women`s Open final as she seeks the first successful title defence of her career.
The top-seeded Australian downed third seed Svitolina 7-6 (8/6), 6-2 in Osaka to set up a final against Kazakhstan`s Zarina Diyas.
Stosur, 30, is attempting to win in Osaka for a third time after her triumphs in 2009 and 2013, which have already made her the tournament`s most successful player.
Diyas reached Sunday`s final by beating Luksika Kumkhum 6-2, 7-5, halting the dream run of the Thai who reached her first WTA semis despite not winning a main draw match since March.
Luksika, 21, also won singles silver and doubles gold at the Asian Games in Incheon, South Korea, which finished last week.