Czech defending champion Katerina Siniakova fended off Maria Sharapova in a fiercely contested match at the Shenzhen Open on Friday to set up a final with world number one Simona Halep.
Siniakova fired 27 winners and 10 aces to prevail 6-2 3-6 6-3 but was made to work hard for the win after Russian Sharapova rediscovered her rhythm midway through the contest.
After losing the first set, Sharapova attacked Siniakova`s serve to seal an early break in the second set.
The five-times grand slam champion gave little away ater that and levelled the contest at one set apiece.
A stinging backhand down the line gave Siniakova a decisive break in the final set and the sixth seed hung on to close out the match in just under two hours.