Iga Swiatek roared back from a set down, and then a break down in the final set, to beat Aryna Sabalenka, 3-6 6-1 6-4, and seal her place in the US Open final.
The top seed and world No. 1 was overpowered in the opening set as she struggled to find her timing from the back of the court, but she responded magnificently in the second before winning the decider.
Swiatek will now take on fifth seed Ons Jabeur in the showpiece match on Saturday evening at Flushing Meadows as she targets a third Grand Slam singles title and a first in New York.
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It did not take long for sixth seed Sabalenka to stamp her authority on the match as she broke Swiatek's serve to love in the third game in comprehensive fashion.
Two further breaks immediately followed as the pair traded blows from the back of the court with neither able to settle on their own serve, but it was Sabalenka who emerged with the advantage and consolidated at the next opportunity.
The Belarusian continued her impressive play as she clinched the opening set having won 75 per cent of the points on her first serve. Swiatek certainly knew she was in a real battle.
The top seed responded in the perfect way with a lightning-fast start to the second set as she raced into a strong lead with an immediate break.
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Swiatek really found her groove as she suddenly found a rhythm from the back of the court and on her serve. Now it was Sabalenka who found herself under the cosh.
As the 21-year-old Pole continued to turn the screw in the second set, Sabalenka appeared to be drifting out of the contest and was broken again as the match went into a decider.
However, the 24-year-old staged her own inspired response to put a famous victory in her sights at 4-2 up and with the crowd energised as the evening's drama unfolded.
Swiatek simply refused to give up, though, and won three stunning games in succession to again dramatically alter the complexion of the match - much to her opponent's dismay.
She proceeded to again demonstrate her remarkable composure under pressure to break serve once more and claim a brilliant win.
“I think against Aryna you have to have the energy to push her back and be able to play back those fast balls," Swiatek said in her on-court interview after the match.
“In the first set for sure I lacked a little bit of that, so I needed to get it back together, drink an energy shot and go for it.
Iga Swiatek celebra su victoria ante Sabalenka
Image credit: Getty Images
“I just tried to put the first serve in because she was really aggressive on the second serve, so she was putting pressure on me and I realised that, even though in the second set I broke her a couple of times, it was going to be tough because she can serve well and she can progress with her serve.
“So I needed to be careful, and even though I lost the first game, I just had hope. But I wasn’t expecting too much from myself because Aryna is a great server so I wasn’t sure if I was going to break her back. I just feel like I played at another level so that’s great."
Swiatek will have to overcome the in-form and equally impressive Jabeur, who earlier beat Caroline Garcia 6-1 6-3, in the final on Saturday if she is to claim her first US Open title and first Grand Slam triumph away from Roland-Garros.
“It is true that I’m always hard on myself, but the last couple of days I’ve just been grateful to be at this stage in the tournament," she said, looking ahead to the final.
“It’s always tough. I’m pretty sure it’s going to be physical. She has good hands, she’s solid on the baseline and when she is going in. I’ve just got to be careful. I don’t know what’s going to happen, I’m just going to enjoy being in the final.”
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