Paolini holds off Cirstea in Dubai

Jimmie48 Photography|WTA

An all-unseeded semifinal at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships saw Jasmine Paolini hold off Sorana Cirstea 6-2, 7-6.

The Italian saved six set points in the second set to reach the first WTA 1000 final of her career in 1 hour and 57 minutes.

Cirstea, 33, was bidding to become the second-oldest player to enter the top 20 for the first time, and to reach a WTA 1000 final for the first time in 11 years.

But it was Paolini who maintained her perfect record against the Romanian, improving to 3-0 overall.

Qualifier Anna Kalinskaya faces World No. 1 Iga Swiatek in the other semi-final on Friday.

In the doubles competition, No.3 seeds Nicole Melichar-Martinez and Ellen Perez advanced to their second final of the season after defeating Aliaksandra Sasnovich and Laura Siegemund 6-3, 6-2. 

Melichar-Martinez and Perez will next face either No.2 seeds Gabriela Dabrowski and Erin Routliffe or No.4 seeds Storm Hunter and Katerina Siniakova.

More from Sports