(CNN) -- Victoria Azarenka of Belarus continued her remorseless rise up the world rankings by reaching the final of the Sony Ericsson Open at Key Biscayne in Florida.
Azarenka shows her delight at reaching the final in Miami.
Azarenka saw off eighth seed Svetlana Kuznetsova of Russia 6-3 2-6 7-5 to set up a dream showdown with either Serena of Venus Williams who were playing the second semifinal in a late evening match in Miami.
The 19-year-old Azarenka has burst to prominence this season with two titles and only two defeats, to Serena Williams in the Australian Open and doubles partner Vera Zvonareva in the semifinals at Indian Wells two weeks ago.
It has taken her to 10th in the world rankings and set to rise further when the new WTA lists are published next week.
Azarenka, who was reaching her first final at a WTA Top Tier event, had never beaten Kuznetsova in three previous meetings, but put that right in a closely fought struggle.
Trailing by 3-2 in the first set, she produced a run of four straight games to close it out 6-3.
Kuznetsova, the 2006 champion at Key Biscayne, immediately struck back in the second set, securing an early break and backing it up with further inroads on the Azarenka service before setting up a decider.
A single break by Azarenka saw her serve for the match at 5-4 with Kuznetsova saving a match point before taking advantage of an error and double fault to break back.
Inspired play by the tall Belarus star saw her set up the chance to serve for a place in the final again, but again it was no formality.
Kuznetsova saved two more match points but a tame backhand gave her opponent victory after two hours 40 minutes in 30 degrees centigrade temperatures.