Serena Williams, who needed nearly a year to recover from surgery, moved into the Bank of the West Classic final, where she will face France's Marion Bartoli on Sunday at 12 PM PDT.
Serena made an impressive third straight-set 6-1, 6-2 victory over Germany's Sabine Lisicki on Saturday semi-final match at Palo Alto.
It's her first appearance in a final since winning the title at Wimbledon last year and her first final on American soil since losing to Victoria Azarenka in Miami in March 2009.
Williams needed only 59 minutes to defeat Lisicki, closing out both sets after racing out to a 3?1 lead in the first frame and a 4?1 edge in the second. The semi-final result closely resembled Friday's 6?1, 6?3 rout of second?seeded Maria Sharapova, in which Williams pounded home six aces and required only one hour and nine minutes to secure the victory.
The unseeded and 169th-ranked Williams will meet third-seeded and ninth-ranked Marion Bartoli of France, who advanced when Slovakia's Dominika Cibulkova withdrew from the other semifinal due to strained abdominal muscle, the Los Angeles Times reported.
Cibulkova told BBC News that she had been troubled by the injury all week and was advised by a doctor not to play her last-four match because she could make the injury worse.
With the withdrawal, Bartoli advanced to the Bank of the West Classic final for the third time in four years. Bartoli reached the final in 2008 and won the singles title in 2009. Bartoli now sports a 20?3 record over her last four events and will be looking for her seventh career singles crown.
Sunday’s doubles final represents a matchup of the tournament’s top two seeds. The top?seeded duo of Liezel Huber and Lisa Raymond will square off against the second?seeded tandem of Victoria Azarenka and Maria Kirilenko.
Take a glimpse of photos of the semi-final match between Serena Williams and Sabine Lisicki: