Final fling for Robson
Laura Robson defeated Sorana Cirstea in Guangzhou to become the first British woman to reach the final of a WTA Tour event since 1990.
Last Updated: 21/09/12 5:16pm
Laura Robson became the first British woman to reach the final of a WTA Tour event since 1990 with victory over Sorana Cirstea in Guangzhou.
The 18-year-old recorded a 6-4 6-2 triumph over the third seed from Romania to set up a Saturday showdown with Su-Wei Hsieh for the title.
Robson - who overcame seventh seed Peng Shuai in the quarter-finals - went three games up after breaking her opponent early on and maintained her advantage to take the opening set.
The second was even more straightforward, with the biggest problem for the teenager coming when she attempted to serve out for the match.
Cirstea managed to break at 5-1 down to remain alive only for Robson to reply by taking the next game, wrapping up the win after 90 minutes on court.
"I'm feeling good, I played well today," Robson told the WTA Tour's official website. "Sorana is a really tough player to play because she plays so aggressive and hits so many winners.
"I kept trying to take the ball early to take the time away from her and give me more of a chance in the rallies."
Jo Durie was the last Brit to reach a final 22 years ago in Newport, four years before Robson was born, while the last to actually win a tournament was Sara Gomer, who prevailed at the Northern California Open in 1988.
Hseih had earlier booked her place in the final by defeating fourth-seeded Pole Urszula Radwanska 6-1 3-6 6-0 in a match that lasted hour and 37 minutes.
Robson knows she faces a tall order against a player ranked 21 places higher and who also won their only previous meeting.
She added: "She plays quite differently from most of the players and I need to be ready for this. I played her once before last year in Japan and I lost and all through the match I could never tell what shot she was going to hit next."