Serbia's former world number one Jelena Jankovic ignored the distraction of an arm injury before beating Belgium's Yanina Wickmayer on Friday and booking a place in the final of the Guangzhou International.
Jankovic saved a match point late in the third set before winning 6-3 2-6 7-5, giving her the chance to win her second title in China this year after winning a lower tier event in Nanchang in August.
The 30-year-old Jankovic said her arm was hurting after a busy week playing both singles and doubles.
"I think I played quite a lot of tennis," she said.
"It was a little bit better towards the end and I felt better afterward. In the first set, I was almost getting ready to cry!"
Her opponent in Saturday's final will be Denisa Allertova, the giantkiller from the Czech Republic.
Allertova stunned world number two Simona Halep in Thursday's quarter-finals and followed up by beating Italian Sara Errani, seeded third in China, 7-5, 6-2.
"I'm just trying to focus on my tennis and play every point like it's my last. It worked, and I'm so happy that I won today!" Allertova said.
Allertova will be playing in her first WTA final after winning nine times on the lower ITF circuit.
"I didn't expect this because it's my first time here, and there are a lot of great players here, so I'm happy to play the final tomorrow," she said.